Francesco Molinari hopes to join the swelling group of in-form Europeans heading to The Ryder Cup with a strong showing at the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi.
Since Rory McIlroy’s victory at the US PGA Championship, the Northern Irishman has won back-to back events on the US PGA Tour with Sergio Garcia capturing the Wyndham Championship in between.
Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and Peter Hanson took last week’s KLM Open as members of José María Olazábal’s side have dominated on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now Molinari wants to get in on the act at his final event before heading for Medinah, having already notched seven top-ten finishes this term including victory at the Reale Seguros Open de España.
“Obviously with The Ryder Cup in two weeks, everything is getting very exciting,” said the 29 year old. “I hope it’s going to be good preparation for Chicago.
“It’s great to see so many players in the team on good form. Obviously Rory has been amazing in the last few weeks and it’s really good for the team spirit. The Americans had a really good early season and summer, so it’s important to show everyone that the Europeans are ready for The Ryder Cup.”
Molinari captured his national open in 2006, but admits that increases the pressure on him at Royal Park I Roveri.
Having grown up in Turin the three-time European Tour winner now resides in London, and that makes the return to home soil all the more important.
“It’s even more special because I don’t live here anymore,” added Molinari. “So it’s good to be back and see lots of family and friends.
“The golf course is slightly different from previous years because the rough is not so high. I think it might get a bit firmer if the weather is okay. I think it will be quite low scoring as usual. I’m playing well and I’ve had a couple of weeks off to get ready for this week and for The Ryder Cup. I think the game is in good shape, so I’m looking forward to the tournament.
“It’s different from normal weeks because of the pressure of the crowd wanting you to do well. Plus we have extra things to do with press and sponsors. It’s more tiring than a regular week.
“It’s worse [having won in 2006] because then people expect you to win every year. It was great winning, but it doesn’t make it easier.”
Molinari will also be able to enjoy the company of his brother Edoardo at a European Tour event for the first time since June – the 31 year old is making his comeback from wrist surgery.