Whisper it but it looks like Francesco Molinari is back...

Francesco Molinari

Just over two years ago, Francesco Molinari was pretty much the hottest golfer on the planet.

Wins on either side of the Atlantic were followed by a maiden major victory in the 2018 Open and a perfect 5-0 performance in the Ryder Cup.

Then, with one sleeve in the Green Jacket, he dunked his tee shot at 12 in the water in the final round of the 2019 Masters and he’s hardly been seen since.

Injuries, a loss of form and relocating from London to the United States at the height of the pandemic have conspired to send the Italian tumbling down the world rankings. From fifth on the standings in September 2018, he is currently 173rd.

• Wolff details mental health struggles

• Phil frustrated with fans after opening round

All of which makes his three-under first round at Torrey Pines somewhat of a surprise.

Molinari, who sat out last year’s US Open at Winged Foot, sits one shot adrift of early pacesetters Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen in the third men’s major of 2021. 

If you're surprised by that, don't worry. So is he.

“The times I've been healthy, I was playing well and hitting the ball well at home,” said the 38-year-old. “But then I seemed to struggle recently with injuries here and there and struggling really to get some continuity. It's nice to be back and feeling good.”

Molinari’s older brother Edoardo got off to a good start of his own, opening with a one-under 70.

• 'Brooksy' heckles are hilarious says Bryson

• TaylorMade unveils stunning US Open bag

The pair famously combined to great effect for Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup. However, this week is the first that they’ve spent any time together since Christmas in 2019, with Francesco now based in the US and 40-year-old Edoardo – who came through a qualifier to make his first US Open appearance since 2011 – living in their hometown, Turin.

“When COVID first hit, I was here [in America],” revealed Francesco. “I managed to fly back to London but then obviously I couldn't fly from London to Italy, and then we moved here, and he couldn't fly here. I don’t know, it's just been a weird year-and-a-half.

“We text and we talk pretty often, but obviously it's not the same, especially after such a long time. It's definitely the first time that we've been apart for so long, so it’s nice to see him.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
DRIVING TIPS FROM A TOUR PRO | with Ewen Ferguson
Ewen Ferguson
play button
WATCH: A round of golf with Justin Thomas
Watch
play button
CAN A CLUB GOLFER COMPETE WITH A TOUR PRO?
David Law
play button
HOW TO WARM UP FOR A ROUND OF GOLF LIKE A TOUR PRO
David Law
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Olympics: Star duo ruled OUT of Tokyo Games
Pro launches scathing attack on PGA Tour
Collin Morikawa: “Representing USA is the biggest honour”
Rickie Fowler provides Tiger Woods rehab update
Scott Herald triumphs on Get Back To Golf Tour

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
The correct grip is essential to good ball striking
Watch
play button
The keys to a good rhythm
Watch
play button
How to square the clubface at impact
Callaway
play button
How to improve your takeaway
Callaway
See all videos right arrow