Champion Golfer's Blog for September
Francesco Molinari’s midas touch shows no signs of abating and September was another sensational month for the Champion Golfer of the Year.
Molinari secured a first Major Championship victory at Carnoustie in July, conquering challenging conditions to lift the Claret Jug at The 147th Open.
The Italian’s clutch golf down the back nine saw him edge several Americans, with 2017 Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele all closely challenging.
Besting those in Stars and Stripes was his task once again at the Ryder Cup – his third time at the event and a weekend in Paris he won’t forget in a hurry.
Back to best at BMW
Perhaps the only blemish on Molinari’s outstanding recent record was missing the cut at The Northern Trust in late August for the third year in a row.
But in typically tenacious fashion, he returned to the practice range in the wind at Wisley in early September to work on his game with elite performance coach Dave Alred.
Perfect prep for the @PGATOUR championship with @F_Molinari @The_Wisley same complex practice sets with added stock & random with a gusty varying wind - ugly & unpredictable demanding 100% application but still difficult to match intentions @TaylorMadeTour @TrackManGolf pic.twitter.com/Q44nxhkzMi— Dr Dave Alred MBE (@dave_alred) September 14, 2018
Alred, who has worked with double Champion Golfer Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald, is known for uncomfortable training techniques that resemble the pressure of competition.
“I had a very good team around me already but we were probably missing someone like him, someone who does what he does,” Molinari said.
“He makes my training sessions more interesting, more ugly — like he says — and just more productive.”
Molinari quickly returned to battling at the top of the leaderboard with a superb 63 in the second round at the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club.
He was in good company, finished joint eighth with Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler in Pennsylvania.
The Tour Championship in Atlanta two weeks later wasn’t quite as successful, but a promising fourth round 67 laid the foundation for France.
Ryder Cup revelry
With Fleetwood as his inimitable sidekick, Molinari played a fundamental role in Europe’s emphatic triumph over USA at Le Golf National.
The pair linked up to claim a vital early victory in Friday’s morning fourballs, their team’s only point from the first four rubbers a 3&1 win over Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods.
The foursomes tussle with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth was riveting and they claimed it 5&4, with two wins over Tiger on the Saturday to push Europe ever-closer to the trophy.
Molinari’s singles battle with Phil Mickleson was a defining one, his superb performance seeing Mickleson concede on the 16th and hand overall victory to Europe.
Before Molinari, only Arnold Palmer, Larry Nelson and Gardner Dickinson had won all of their matches at a Ryder Cup.
The Italian’s partnership with Fleetwood captured the imagination of the golfing public and their pillow talk certainly caught the world's attention
He was also serenaded by Gare Du Nord after travelling back in his adopted city London on Monday, capping an incredible weekend.
Treble bid up next
In October, back on English soil, Molinari has the opportunity to secure a historic hat-trick of UK based trophy wins at the Sky Sports British Masters.
Hoping to add to his BMW PGA Championship win at Wentworth, the Turin-born star is showing customary composure as talk of a treble mounts.
“It would be great to add the British Masters to my wins at Carnoustie and Wentworth, but I'm not thinking about that too much,” he said.
"Walton Heath is an unbelievable venue and I know it will provide a real test.
“I would just like to continue my good form and hopefully put in a strong performance."