Francesco Molinari turned into the first Italian golfer to gather a big ultimate 12 months when he received the Open Championship. This 12 months, Molinari, 36, defends the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Membership in Surrey, England. He mentioned defensive golfing play, his document enjoying at Wentworth and the way Italian golfers have it higher than football avid gamers. The next dialog has been edited and condensed.
Remaining 12 months, you mentioned the BMW used to be the largest win of your profession. Why is that?
I feel it used to be on account of how it got here, enjoying in virtually a fit play type of manner with Rory McIlroy. Additionally, I used to be simply coming off a 12 months of the place I used to be enjoying smartly, however I wasn’t changing my just right weeks into wins. It used to be a win that simply felt other from my earlier wins.
McIlroy saved the warmth on you till the very finish, the place you beat him via two strokes. How did you deal with that power?
I used to be surely feeling the power. Clearly if you have somebody like Rory chasing you, it’s by no means over till the ultimate hollow. I all the time had that at the back of my thoughts to stay pushing and stay staying in entrance of the entire avid gamers via as many photographs as conceivable. I felt like I used to be enjoying smartly. After I birdied the 12th hollow, I feel I had a four-shot lead. While you lead via 4 with six holes to head, you in point of fact simply have to concentrate on simply doing the process of bringing it in and now not making any simple errors.
That’s when your way of thinking switches, when you want to near out the event. You’ll be able to drop photographs beautiful simply at that time, and also you’re conscious about that. The primary a part of the spherical we have been tied, I feel. However if you have the lead, you naturally transfer to defensive play and take a look at to not give anything else away, particularly when you find yourself enjoying somebody like Rory who can simply make birdies. And the ones ultimate two holes are reachable par 5s. If there’s any individual on the planet who can end with two eagles, it’s surely Rory. You by no means in point of fact really feel relaxed till it’s over.
Simplest 3 avid gamers have effectively defended at Wentworth. What’s going to it take so that you can turn into the fourth?
Wow. I didn’t know that. That will provide you with an concept of the way difficult it’s. It’s going to be a more potent box this 12 months with the brand new date. I don’t wish to sound too easy, however I simply want to play my perfect golfing. Anything else not up to that in contrast robust box received’t do it — it’s now not going to be sufficient. I stopped my U.S. season one week previous, so I had time at house to paintings and get able for a hectic finish of the season, particularly Wentworth. Confidently, I will display up and play some just right golfing and get some self assurance. Wentworth is a spot the place I like to play and feature a beautiful improbable document, even earlier than ultimate 12 months. I will’t wait to paintings the ones fairways once more. However I are aware of it received’t be clearly simple to win once more.
You got here in 2nd in 2017, received ultimate 12 months and positioned in numerous best 10s. What’s it about Wentworth that works for you?
It’s a mixture of items — the route and the gang. The route is considered one of my favorites. It fits my sport. It’s beautiful difficult from tee to inexperienced. You want to put the ball in point of fact smartly. It’s now not a route you’ll be able to play really well from off the tough. It’s additionally a different event for me. Like maximum Europeans, I be mindful rising up and observing Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros enjoying. It provides me a different feeling when I am getting there. There aren’t many lessons which are like that, to play on a route that you simply be mindful out of your teenage years observing to your TV.
On a private observe, does it trouble you that football avid gamers get extra adoration than golfers in Italy?
After ultimate 12 months, I am getting stopped much more steadily and get requested for autographs and photographs. It’s the popularity of the effects I’ve had and issues I’ve achieved within the ultimate two years. And it feels great. I adore it when it’s younger children. A part of what I do is as a result of I used to be that younger child taking a look as much as Costantino Rocca and the entire Italian avid gamers that have been on excursion. It’s nice to understand that I’m doing the similar now with the more youthful generations.
However I’m now not the type of man who appears for an excessive amount of public consideration. Footballers get numerous love, however in addition they get numerous hate as smartly after they don’t play smartly. Italians are very captivated with sports activities. Soccer is a difficult recreation to be in. I’d slightly golfing.