Recent Open champion Francesco Molinari joins a long and distinguished list of Italian golfers over the years that include his brother Edoardo and Constantino Rocca and…well, that’s about it. Molinari became the first from Italy to hoist the Claret Jug when he turned back the world’s best at Carnoustie in July, including a resurgent Tiger Woods. Molinari played the weekend bogey-free and continued his recent streak of stellar play.

Prior to 2018, he had been a steady if not spectacular player on the world stage. His brother came to prominence first by winning the U.S. Amateur in 2005, but most observers thought that Francesco would have the better professional career, and so far that prediction has panned out. Molinari won his first European Tour event in 2006 and has six victories on that circuit to his credit while his brother has three. Molinari represented Team Europe in the Ryder Cup in 2010 and 2012 but missed out on 2014 and 2016. He will certainly be on the European squad this fall when the matches are contested in France for the first time, part of a team that looks to be much improved over the 2016 version that was soundly defeated by the U.S.

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