‘There is no time to enjoy the victory’
Open Champ Francesco Molinari on Carnoustie, Paris and getting better
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.