The Open: 2018 winner Francesco Molinari 'trending in right direction'
Three years ago, it seemed as though Francesco Molinari could probably walk on water. First, he held off a resurgent Tiger Woods to become an Open champion at Carnoustie. Then the Italian became the first player to win five points out of five in a Ryder Cup.
Golf is a fickle game, though. Molinari heads into next week’s 149th Open at Royal St George’s having slipped to 137th in the world. And, on recent form, he has little chance of making Padraig Harrington’s team to defend the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in September.
“I’m trending in the right direction,” insisted Molinari, speaking at the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. “This year has been a bit difficult in terms of consistency. I’ve had a few physical issues, a few niggles here and there. It seems as if every time I was getting going I had to stop for my back, or my ankle, or something.
“I’m normally okay with that, but it affects the preparation when you don’t have the continuity. It is hard to go when you are stop-start and stop-start.
“That has slowed down the process of me getting back to where I want to be, but, hopefully, from now forward I can get the continuity and climb the rankings.”
Another big week in the game’s oldest major would certainly be a kick-start. “Any major is always going to be an exciting time,” added Molinari. “But, of course, The Open is always going to have a very special place in my heart. I’m looking forward to it.
“I still have work to do to get there in good shape and compete. But it is going to be great playing in front of the British crowds.
“It’s been really good this week at the Scottish Open and, especially for me, given that I haven’t played in Europe for almost two years. So it is nice to be back.”
Before heading to Kent, Molinari is hoping to be celebrating an Italian victory in Euro2020 as Roberto Mancini’s side face England in the final on Sunday night.
“We are really proud of the way the team is doing, especially as we don’t really have any superstars in the squad at the moment,” he said. “So, to get into the final is a big bonus.”
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