Tuesday, 09 April 2019
Francesco Molinari  (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari has enjoyed the greatest year of his career since last season's Masters Tournament and is confident his hard work can finally pay off at Augusta National Golf Club.

The Italian has just one top 20 finish in seven playing appearances at the year's first Major Championship but admits he comes down Magnolia Lane a very different golfer to the one he was 12 months ago.

He has won a maiden Major at The Open Championship, a first Rolex Series event at the BMW PGA Championship, won the 2018 Race to Dubai, become the first European to win five points at a Ryder Cup and won his first two events in America on the US PGA Tour since last April.

While always a modest character, the 36-year-old does not deny he is currently the best he has ever been, and he is eager to continue working hard to make the most of this golden run of golf.

"There's been a lot of work going in the last few years and sometimes it doesn't pay off straight away," said Molinari, who caddied for his brother Edoardo at this event in 2006.

"It's taken  a while but obviously now success is coming quite often and that's a nice feeling. I'll try to keep working to keep the success coming and win as many tournaments as I can. I'm not a spring chicken anymore so I need to make the most of it.

"I'm in a much different position to where I was coming in the last few years. I don't want to deny that or I can't deny that. I feel good about my game but at the beginning of the week, I think pretty much everyone does.  

"Then when you go out there, all Majors but I think here at Augusta especially, they are tough tests. If you are not on your game, you're going to pay the price for it.

"Confidence comes with success and I've had a lot of success in the last few months and I think that the important thing is that I don't have to let my guard down.  

"I still have to go through all the work and the process that got me to this point and hopefully it will get me even further forward in my career."

Being such a brilliant ball-striker, Molinari's record at Augusta National would come as a surprise to many, but the six time European Tour winner believes he knows where improvement was needed and that he has achieved it.

"I think what let me down in the past is on the greens and around the greens, it's a very tough test because of the speed of the greens and the undulation," he said. "I hope to show the progress that I've made on the greens and around the greens in the last few months and get a good performance in this week.

"Looking inside now the years I've played, I can see some things now I've improved, especially the putting that I wasn't doing so well in the past and would be costly around here.  

"And as well, I think it's a course that most guys need to play a few times to learn a few tricks and learn how to play a few shots. Hopefully I can use the experience from the last few years this week."

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