Open main menu

Francesco Molinari (born 8 November 1982) is an Italian professional golfer. He won the 2018 Open Championship, his first and only major victory, and the first major won by an Italian professional golfer.[1] The Open Championship win capped a successful season in which he won the 2018 BMW PGA Championship, his sixth win on the European Tour, and the Quicken Loans National, his first PGA Tour win. At the end of the season, Molinari won 5 out of 5 points as Europe won the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari.JPG
Personal information
Full nameFrancesco Molinari
Born (1982-11-08) 8 November 1982 (age 36)
Turin, Italy
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight72 kg (159 lb; 11.3 st)
Nationality Italy
ResidenceTurin, Italy
London, United Kingdom
SpouseValentina (m. 2007)
ChildrenTommaso, Emma
Career
CollegeUniversity of Turin
Turned professional2004
Current tour(s)European Tour
PGA Tour
Professional wins10
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
European Tour6
Other2
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT5: 2019
PGA ChampionshipT2: 2017
U.S. OpenT16: 2019
The Open ChampionshipWon: 2018
Achievements and awards
Race to Dubai Champion2018
European Tour
Golfer of the Year
2018

Molinari has been in the top 100 of the World Rankings continuously since the end of 2008. Playing with his brother Edoardo, they won the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup, Italy's only win in the event. Molinari won the 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions and has represented Europe in three winning Ryder Cup teams, in 2010, 2012 and 2018.

Contents

Background and amateur careerEdit

Molinari was born in Turin, Italy, and is the younger brother of Edoardo Molinari. As an amateur, he won the Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship twice, and the Italian Match Play Championship in 2004. He turned professional later that year.

Professional careerEdit

Molinari earned his European Tour card for 2005 through qualifying school. He finished in 86th place on the tour's Order of Merit in his rookie season.

In May 2006, Molinari claimed his first European Tour victory, becoming the first Italian since Massimo Mannelli in 1980 to win the Telecom Italia Open.[2] This victory helped him finish 38th on the Order of Merit. Molinari didn't win on Tour between 2007 and 2009 but during that time he recorded twenty top-10 finishes including three runner-up finishes. He finished 60th on the Order of Merit in 2007, 24th in 2008 and 14th in the Race to Dubai in 2009. In October 2009, Molinari reached the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time.

On 29 November 2009, Molinari, along with his older brother Edoardo, led Italy to their first World Cup victory at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.[3]

On 7 November 2010, Molinari won the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China. He defeated Lee Westwood by one stroke, finishing at 19-under par.[4] The win moved him into 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest ranking for eight years. He also recorded eleven top-10 finishes including two runner-up finishes en route to a 5th-place finish in the Race to Dubai.

In October 2010, he represented Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup which took place at Celtic Manor Resort, teaming up with his brother Edoardo in the four-balls (halved against Stuart Cink and Matt Kuchar) and foursomes (lost against Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan). He then lost the singles match by 4 and 3 against Tiger Woods on the final day. Europe defeated the United States 14½–13½.

Molinari had a steady 2011 without any further victories but did record seven top-10 finishes, including a 3rd place at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He finished the year ranked 21st in the Race to Dubai.

 
Molinari at the 2015 Open de France

Molinari picked up his third win on the European Tour on 6 May 2012 at the Reale Seguros Open de España. He was four strokes out of the lead going into the final round but fired a 65 (−7), the best round of the tournament, to win by three strokes over Alejandro Cañizares, Søren Kjeldsen and Pablo Larrazábal.[5] In July 2012, the week before the Open Championship, Molinari lost in a playoff at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. He was defeated on the first playoff hole by Jeev Milkha Singh.

Molinari gained an automatic selection for the 2012 Ryder Cup, where he played the foursomes with Lee Westwood on Friday, losing by 3 and 2 to Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson; he then teamed up in the four-balls with Justin Rose, losing by 5 and 4 against Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. On the final day, he halved with Tiger Woods in the last singles match. The point meant Europe not only completed a comeback from 10–6 down at the start of the final day to retain the cup, but won it outright by a score of 14½ points to 13½.[6]

During the 2013 and 2014 seasons Molinari didn't register any win, but his steady position in the top fifty of the OWGR allowed him to play several PGA Tour events as a non-member, where he reached three top ten finishes; among these the most prestigious result was the 6th place at the 2014 Players Championship. These results allowed him to earn a full PGA Tour card for the 2014–15 season.

In 2015 and 2016 Molinari shared his time between the European Tour and PGA Tour. In September 2016 he became the first Italian to win his national open twice with a 1 shot victory over Danny Willett at the 2016 Italian Open. Other notable results in Europe were the 2nd places collected at the 2015 Open de España and 2016 Open de France, while in the U.S. he collected a 3rd place at the 2015 Memorial Tournament. In the same year he also recorded a hole in one at the iconic 16th hole of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.[7]

Molinari recorded his fifth European Tour win and first Rolex Series titles in May 2018, with victory in the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. He produced a flawless final round to see off Rory McIlroy by two strokes. The win took Molinari level with Costantino Rocca, for most European Tour wins by an Italian. In the same year, Molinari won the Quicken Loans National in a dominating fashion by shooting a 62 on Sunday to win by eight strokes, the first PGA Tour win for an Italian since 1947.

At the 2018 Open Championship, Molinari won the tournament with a score of −8, pairing with Tiger Woods in the final round.[1] The win at the Open Championship moved him to sixth place in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest ranking of his career to date.[8]

In September 2018, Molinari qualified for the European team participating in the 2018 Ryder Cup. Europe defeated the U.S. team 17 1/2 to 10 1/2. Molinari became the first player ever to go 5-0-0. He famously paired with Tommy Fleetwood to win all four fourball and foursome matches. He also won his singles match against Phil Mickelson.[9]

On 18 November 2018, Molinari won the season-long Race to Dubai title on the European Tour.[10] The victory was worth $1,250,000.[11]

On 16 December 2018, he received the 2018 BBC World Sport Star of the Year award (formerly known as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award), Molinari was the first Italian to receive this prize.

On 10 March 2019, Molinari won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for his third PGA Tour victory of his career. He teed off 10 groups ahead of the leaders on the final day and 5 stokes behind, making three birdies and no bogeys on his first seven holes. On the 8th hole, from well off the green he holed a chip for another birdie and made the turn in 32 (−4). He made four more birdies on the back nine, including a 43-foot putt at the 72nd hole, to shoot a final-round 64 that ended up giving him a two-stroke win over Matthew Fitzpatrick, who shot a final-round 71.[12]

In April 2019, Molinari was the 54-hole leader at the Masters at 13 under, two strokes clear of Tony Finau and Tiger Woods, after a six-under-par 66 third round. Molinari held the lead for two thirds of the final round, until he reached the par-3 12th, where his tee shot found the water, resulting in a double bogey. He found the water again on the 15th, which led to another double bogey to fall out of contention. He finished with a round of 74 and T5 finish, still his best performance at the Masters to date.

CoachesEdit

Molinari has worked since 2018 with Dave Alred on several mental aspects of his game.[13][14]

Personal lifeEdit

Molinari is a fan of Italian football team Internazionale,[15] he also supports West Ham United after Italian football manager Gianfranco Zola started managing the East London side in 2008.[16]

CharityEdit

Molinari is an ambassador for Borne, a medical research charity looking to identify the causes of premature birth[17].

Amateur wins (5)Edit

  • 2002 Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship, Italian Amateur Foursomes Championship (with Edoardo Molinari)
  • 2004 Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship, Italian Match Play Championship, Sherry Cup (ESP)

Professional wins (10)Edit

European Tour wins (6)Edit

Legend
Major championships (1)
World Golf Championships (1)
BMW PGA Championships (1)
Other European Tour (3)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s) up
1 7 May 2006 Telecom Italia Open 68-65-67-65=265 −23 4 strokes   Anders Hansen,   Jarmo Sandelin
2 7 Nov 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions 65-70-67-67=269 −19 1 stroke   Lee Westwood
3 6 May 2012 Reale Seguros Open de España 70-71-74-65=280 −8 3 strokes   Alejandro Cañizares,   Søren Kjeldsen,
  Pablo Larrazábal
4 18 Sep 2016 Italian Open (2) 65-68-64-65=262 −22 1 stroke   Danny Willett
5 27 May 2018 BMW PGA Championship 70-67-66-68=271 −17 2 strokes   Rory McIlroy
6 22 Jul 2018 The Open Championship 70-72-65-69=276 −8 2 strokes   Kevin Kisner,   Rory McIlroy,
  Justin Rose,   Xander Schauffele

European Tour playoff record (0–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open   Lin Wen-tang,   Rory McIlroy Lin won with birdie on second extra hole
Molinari eliminated with par on first hole
2 2010 Alstom Open de France   Alejandro Cañizares,   Miguel Ángel Jiménez Jiménez won with par on first extra hole
3 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open   Jeev Milkha Singh Lost to birdie on first extra hole

PGA Tour wins (3)Edit

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (2)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 1 Jul 2018 Quicken Loans National 67-65-65-62=259 −21 8 strokes   Ryan Armour
2 22 Jul 2018 The Open Championship 70-72-65-69=276 −8 2 strokes   Kevin Kisner,   Rory McIlroy,
  Justin Rose,   Xander Schauffele
3 10 Mar 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational 69-70-73-64=276 −12 2 strokes   Matthew Fitzpatrick

Other wins (2)Edit

Major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
2018 The Open Championship 3 shot deficit −8 (70-72-65-69=276) 2 strokes   Kevin Kisner,   Rory McIlroy,
  Justin Rose,   Xander Schauffele

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open T27
The Open Championship CUT T13
PGA Championship T10
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament T30 CUT T19 CUT 50 T33 T20
U.S. Open CUT CUT T29 CUT T23 T27 CUT T25
The Open Championship CUT CUT T39 T9 T15 T40 T36 CUT 1
PGA Championship T33 T34 T54 T33 T58 T54 T22 T2 T6
Tournament 2019
Masters Tournament T5
PGA Championship T48
U.S. Open T16
The Open Championship T11
  Winner
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 1 3 8 6
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 3 4 11 11
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 6
The Open Championship 1 0 0 1 2 5 12 8
Totals 1 1 0 3 6 15 41 31
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (2013 Open – 2017 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (2018 Open – 2019 Masters)

Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit

Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Players Championship 9 CUT CUT CUT T6 T7 T6 CUT T56
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

World Golf ChampionshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
2010 WGC-HSBC Champions 1 shot lead −19 (65-70-67-67=269) 1 stroke   Lee Westwood

Results timelineEdit

Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Mexico Championship T14 T3 T13 T28 T25 T20 T25 T17
Match Play R64 R64 R32 R64 R64 T34 T58 T17 3
FedEx St. Jude Invitational T39 T15 T40 T44 T31 T61 T24 T39
HSBC Champions T10 1 T23 T39 T21 T6 T46 T43
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied

PGA Tour career summaryEdit

Season Starts Cuts
made
Wins 2nd 3rd Top
10
Top
25
Earnings
($)
Money
list rank
2007 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a
2008 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a
2009 4 4 0 0 0 1 2 304,368 n/a
2010 8 6 0 0 0 1 2 358,196 n/a
2011 11 6 0 0 1 1 3 158,387 n/a
2012 8 7 0 0 0 0 3 198,961 n/a
2013 9 6 0 0 0 1 1 245,463 n/a
2014 12 12 0 0 0 2 7 847,974 n/a
2015 16 13 0 0 1 2 5 997,389 103
2016 18 14 0 0 0 3 5 1,083,155 98
2017 21 17 0 1 0 5 14 2,875,850 31
2018 20 17 2 1 0 5 11 5,065,842 11
Career* 128 102 2 2 2 21 53 12,135,587 147[18]

*As of the 2018 season.[19]
^ Molinari became member of the PGA Tour in 2015, so he is not included in the money list before that.

Team appearancesEdit

Amateur

Professional

Ryder Cup points record

2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 Total
0.5 0.5 - - 5 6

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Murray, Scott (22 July 2018). "The Open 2018: Francesco Molinari wins title on day of drama – as it happened". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Molinari ends wait for home win". BBC Sport. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Italy edge Ireland to win World Cup of Golf in China". BBC Sport. 29 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Francesco Molinari holds his nerve to see off Lee Westwood in China". The Guardian. 7 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Magic Final Round Secures Title for Molinari". European Tour. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Europe seal Ryder Cup win with comeback of epic proportions". The Guardian. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Francesco Molinari's hole-in-one on No. 16 at Waste Management". 31 January 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  8. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (23 July 2018). "Francesco Molinari wins British Open as Tiger Woods falls short". CNN.com. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Europe wins back Ryder Cup, beating US 17 1/2-10 1/2". The Hamilton Spectator. The Canadian Press. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Molinari crowned Race to Dubai Champion". European Tour. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  11. ^ "2018 Race to Dubai bonus pool, purse, winner's share, prize money payout". Golf News Net. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  12. ^ Shedloski, Dave (10 March 2019). "The secret to Francesco Molinari's recent success? Confidence without bravado". Golf Digest. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  13. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (7 August 2018). "The guru teaching golfers to think like 'assassins'". CNN.
  14. ^ Walsh, David (29 July 2018). "When the guru Dave Alred met golfer Francesco Molinari". The Times.
  15. ^ "Francesco Molinari porta l'Inter sul green" (in Italian).
  16. ^ "Hammer Francesco eyes Open glory". 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "Our Patrons and Ambassadors". Borne. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Career Money Leaders". PGA Tour. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Francesco Molinari". PGA Tour. Retrieved 25 September 2018.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
  Roger Federer
BBC World Sport Star of the Year
2018
Succeeded by
Incumbent