Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Francesco Molinari  (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari could take another step towards the Race to Dubai title this week at the Sky Sports British Masters but great friend and Ryder Cup playing partner Tommy Fleetwood is keeping him in his sights at Walton Heath Golf Club.

The duo formed a stunning partnership as Europe won the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, becoming the first European pairing ever to win four points out of four.

Moliwood was born and the duo's bromance captured the imagination of golf fans around the world as the pair converted their off-course friendship into on-course domination.

Molinari also won his singles match to claim five points out of five, adding to a remarkable season that has seen him win the Open Championship and the BMW PGA Championship.

The friends have been paired for the first two rounds at Walton Heath and are looking forward to being out on the course together again, even if they are not team-mates this time.

“It's going to be a little strange to try and beat each other instead of playing as a team but yeah, it's been great,” said Molinari.

“We both really wanted to play together, we thought we could have been a successful partnership and it was great from the first morning I think, when we managed to turn the match around on Friday morning, it was a big confidence boost. It's been great for the remainder of the Ryder Cup.”

Fleetwood added: “It'll be nice to play together. We've texted a little bit and we're playing together. We'll eat together like a couple of times this week and stuff, so we're going to be spending a lot of time together it seems.”

Molinari took a week off after his Ryder Cup heroics, while Fleetwood finished in a tie for second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to leapfrog Patrick Reed into second in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

While the Italian still holds a healthy lead, with a World Golf Championships event and three Rolex Series events to come before the end of the season, Fleetwood will be fighting to keep his crown as Europe's Number One.

“I'm a long way behind but it's kind of the opposite of last year in the sense that I led all year last year,” he said. “I might get nowhere near but at the same time, I might get close and now I'm kind of chasing it now.

“It's completely different. It's a stretch as a goal to think about it but I'd love to play Dubai with a chance. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.

“It's kind of in Fran's hands a little bit as well. Just at the moment keep working on improving. I'd love to get in contention again in a couple of events towards the end of the year and maybe win one. That would be great.

“If it was me and Fran it came down to, either way I'm going to be more than happy, whichever way that would turn out. I think we won't hold it against him. With the year he's having, I think he might deserve it.”

Molinari arrived at Le Golf National having never won a full point in a Ryder Cup meaning 2018 could see him win his first Race to Dubai, Major, Rolex Series event, US PGA Tour event and Ryder Cup point.

He still needs to get over the line in one of those, however, and he is determined to be crowned Race to Dubai champion.

“That's the big goal I have but there's Tommy and there's many other guys who are chasing me,” he said. “There's still a lot of points and money to play for, so what I can do is try to approach day by day, tournament by tournament, like I've done so far.”

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