Frustrated Molinari aims to rally for his title defence

AS THE defending champion, Edoardo Molinari is living in luxury at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel this week. “I’m in a suite – one of the best rooms I’ve ever been in,” reported the Italian on the eve of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

He was asked if it had been named after him. “No, but if I win this year, maybe next,” he replied. It would probably be appropriate, especially if the 30-year-old from Turin retained the title in the same dramatic fashion.

Two behind Australian Brett Rumford with three holes to play last year, he birdied them all. In addition to the top prize, he walked away with one of the wildcard spots in the European Ryder Cup team for the match in Wales a few weeks later.

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“[It] was probably the most special week of my career,” reflected Molinari, who also won the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond earlier in 2010. “It’s very difficult to win a tournament when you have to and to do what I did was an unbelievable boost to my confidence. To do that under that kind of pressure, then you are not scared of anything else.”

Molinari has arrived back in Perthshire feeling frustrated about his game, though. While he has been hitting the ball “as well as I ever have”, putting has proved a problem this season and he’s tried all sorts of things in a bid to enjoy a better success rate on the greens again. “I’ve been putting poorly since the Ryder Cup last year,” he said. “I had a decent week at The Masters, but, apart from that, I’ve been holing nothing.

“I tried to switch putters, going back to the putter I used last year, but that didn’t work. Now I’m just trying to keep things simple. I’m working on my takeaway and my posture. I’m feeling much better every day, so I think I’m very close to addressing the problem.”

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