Following Francesco Molinari becoming the first Italian golfer to win a Major Championship, his older brother Edoardo Molinari recounts his emotions at seeing his sibling make history at The 147th Open Championship.
I watched the day unfold at home with my wife and baby girl. Francesco started the day a few shots behind, so initially I didn’t think he had the best chance. But then it got very windy and it was playing tough; that’s when Francesco plays his best. I thought ‘if he manages not to make any bogeys, which obviously he didn’t, he’s going to have a very good chance.’
I started to think he could win it when he got to the turn. The two massive putts in my opinion were the par putts on the 12th and 13th, because he managed to stay tied for the lead. When you play the 14th, nine times out of ten you make a birdie there downwind, and if he did that on Sunday it would have meant he would go one ahead, which of course he did. He was playing well, so I was sure he wouldn’t make any bogeys on the last four holes. That meant everyone had to go and catch him, which is very difficult at Carnoustie.
I think he was relatively calm. Obviously, in the moment, you can get quite nervous, but I think he was calm and confident. He’s been playing well for a few weeks now and he’s been in that position before, so he knew what he needed to do to win. Watching was difficult, but, even though he’s calm, I think he was still definitely more nervous than I was!
I texted him immediately after he won and he replied later on. We had a good chat on Monday evening when I was flying to Germany. I had a call from him and we spent 15 minutes talking. My parents are of course ecstatic, too. For them it must be one of the proudest moments in their life and hopefully they can enjoy it and we can have many more wins to celebrate.
After he won, everybody saw the picture on social media of Francesco caddying for me at the Masters with Tiger. It was a strange week! I had won the US Amateur the previous September and we had caddied for each other a few times. We had a deal that the first one who qualified for a Major would have the other one on their bag. Francesco was in his first season on the European Tour, so I had to ask for special permission for him to caddy for me. We got that permission, so he came along and we had a great time playing with Tiger. It was special, particularly when you think that I was just a young amateur and Francesco was in his first year on the tour. All of a sudden we’re on the first tee at Augusta with Tiger! It was a great experience for both of us.
Francesco has always behaved well and been liked by other pros. He puts in so much hard work that he’s earned the respect of everyone. In the end he deserved what he got a Carnoustie. It’s a privilege to have such a good relationship with Francesco, playing with him in the World Cup of Golf and The Ryder Cup, too. We’ve always been very close and help each other as much as possible. I hope this isn’t a unique win and that there will be more to follow.
☝️ 1 Major win— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 23, 2018
🏆 9 European Tour wins
🌎 2009 World Cup winners
🇪🇺 2010 Ryder Cup winners
Those Molinari brothers...👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/rrA9UCZVrG