‘There is no time to en­joy the vic­tory’

Open Champ Francesco Moli­nari on Carnoustie, Paris and get­ting bet­ter

Today's Golfer (UK) - - FIRST TEE -

Are you still on cloud nine af­ter win­ning The Open?

I’ve had enough time to re­flect and re­alise what hap­pened. Of course it was a great week, but that’s in the past now. You have to move on swiftly, es­pe­cially with such big events com­ing up.

What have you done with the Claret Jug – did you fol­low the tra­di­tion of drink­ing from it?

Noth­ing has gone in yet. I’m not a big drinker, so to fill it with wa­ter would be a bit of a blas­phemy it feels like. My coach [De­nis Pugh] put in a spe­cial re­quest to sleep with the Claret Jug one night, so I was happy to share it with him.

Costantino Rocca says a big part of your suc­cess has been your putting stroke, which is now “much freer”. What brought about that change?

In the last few months I just found some tech­ni­cal keys that helped me to start the ball on line more con­sis­tently and to hit the sweet spot of the put­ter more con­sis­tently, which ob­vi­ously gives me a bet­ter con­trol of the dis­tance. I think my green read­ing was good al­ready last year. Where I was miss­ing was just start­ing the ball on the line that I was pick­ing.

Have you ex­ceeded the goals you set your­self at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son?

The spe­cific goal was to get to East Lake. Last year I missed it [the Tour Cham­pi­onship] by one shot, I think miss­ing a five-footer on the last green. I don’t know if I’ve got enough points to be safe al­ready, but I’ll try to make as many points as pos­si­ble and then, when I get there, try to achieve even more.

Book­ing your place in Paris must be an added bonus as well...

Un­for­tu­nately I missed the last two so it’s nice to be in the team again, the Ry­der Cup is such an amaz­ing event.

Tell us about your Ry­der Cup ex­pe­ri­ences so far?

They were both spe­cial. My last one in 2012 was in­cred­i­ble for our come­back in the Sun­day sin­gles to clinch a fa­mous vic­tory at Me­d­i­nah, while two years ear­lier I part­nered Edoardo at Celtic Manor. That’s some­thing we’ll both al­ways re­mem­ber.

Are you con­fi­dent about mak­ing it three wins in a row?

I don’t want to pre­dict any­thing, but I do think it will be a close match. To be hon­est, my in­di­vid­ual record in the Ry­der Cup is not great so hope­fully I can play well and pick up some points this time. But the main thing is the team gets the job done.

You must have an eye on the 2022 Ry­der Cup out­side Rome?

Who knows what will hap­pen in four years? But Italy is a na­tion crazy about sports – foot­ball, mo­tor rac­ing and many other things – and I think golf is now be­com­ing part of that, too.

Dur­ing The Open, a photo sur­faced of you cad­dy­ing at the Masters for your brother Edoardo, who was grouped with Tiger. What can you re­mem­ber?

I re­mem­ber the bag be­ing very heavy be­cause my brother likes to carry around a lot of stuff that is not needed on the golf course re­ally. And just the feel­ing of not lik­ing be­ing on the other side of the bag, hav­ing some­one hit­ting the shots. I’d have much rather been play­ing that week, but it was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence walk­ing two rounds along­side Tiger.

‘MY COACH PUT IN A SPE­CIAL RE­QUEST TO SLEEP WITH THE CLARET JUG ONE NIGHT, SO I WAS HAPPY TO SHARE IT WITH HIM’

Franceso and brother Edoardo at the 2010 Ry­der Cup.

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