Francesco Molinari (1 Open, 2 Ryder Cup's.)


Francesco Molinari (born 8 November 1982) is an Italian professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Molinari is a five-time winner on the European Tour, including the 2018 BMW PGA Championship, and in July 2018, he won his first PGA Tour event at the Quicken Loans National. He subsequently won the 2018 Open Championship, his first major victory, and the first major won by an Italian professional golfer.[1]

Molinari was born in TurinItaly, 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.

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]

2010 was Molinari's best year on Tour to date. 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 to date. 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 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 CañizaresSøren 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 the last singles match. The half-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 ranking 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 US he collected a 3rd place at the 2015 Memorial Tournament. In the same year he also recorded a hole in one in 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 par, pairing with Tiger Woods in the final round.[1]

Molinari is a fan of English football team West Ham United after Italian football manager Gianfranco Zola started managing the East London side in 2008.[8]

Amateur wins x 5

  • 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 x 9

PGA Tour wins x 2

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour events (1)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
1 1 Jul 2018 Quicken Loans National 67-65-65-62=259 −21 8 strokes United States Ryan Armour
2 22 Jul 2018 The Open Championship 70-72-65-69=276 −8 2 strokes United States Kevin KisnerNorthern Ireland Rory McIlroy
England Justin RoseUnited States Xander Schauffele

European Tour wins (6)[edit]

Major championships (1)
World Golf Championships (1)
BMW PGA Championships (1)
Other European Tour (3)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s) up
1 7 May 2006 Telecom Italia Open 68-65-67-65=265 −23 4 strokes Denmark Anders HansenSweden Jarmo Sandelin
2 7 Nov 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions 65-70-67-67=269 −19 1 stroke England Lee Westwood
3 6 May 2012 Reale Seguros Open de España 70-71-74-65=280 −8 3 strokes Spain Alejandro CañizaresDenmark Søren Kjeldsen,
Spain Pablo Larrazábal
4 18 Sep 2016 Italian Open (2) 65-68-64-65=262 −22 1 stroke England Danny Willett
5 27 May 2018 BMW PGA Championship 70-67-66-68=271 −17 2 strokes Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
6 22 Jul 2018 The Open Championship 70-72-65-69=276 −8 2 strokes United States Kevin KisnerNorthern Ireland Rory McIlroy
England Justin RoseUnited States Xander Schauffele

European Tour playoff record (0–3)

1 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open Taiwan Lin Wen-tangNorthern Ireland Rory McIlroy Lin won with birdie on second extra hole
Molinari eliminated by par on first hole
2 2010 Alstom Open de France Spain Alejandro CañizaresSpain Miguel Ángel Jiménez Jiménez won with par on first extra hole
3 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open India Jeev Milkha Singh Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Other wins x 2

Major championships

Wins x 1

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunners-up
2018 The Open Championship 3 shot deficit −8 (70-72-65-69=276) 2 strokes United States Kevin KisnerNorthern Ireland Rory McIlroy,
England Justin RoseUnited States Xander Schauffele

Results timeline

Masters Tournament       T30 CUT T19 CUT 50     T33 T20
U.S. Open     T27 CUT CUT T29 CUT T23 T27   CUT T25
The Open Championship CUT   T13 CUT CUT T39 T9 T15 T40 T36 CUT 1
PGA Championship     T10 T33 T34 T54 T33 T58 T54 T22 T2