Blogs & Opinion

Steady, as he goes

'Molinari's accuracy will make him the perfect foursomes partner'

Rob Lee Posted 11th September 2012 view comments

The Italian Open is this week's European Tour event and a man from Turin is the bookies' favourite to take the title.

Francesco Molinari, in contrast to his more excitable brother Edoardo, is a very efficient and consistent golfer and doesn't tend to waste too many shots; he finds the fairways and greens in lovely style and is definitely Italy's best player on the circuit at present.

Molinari: Rob reckons the Italian could have prospered further with more forceful putting

Molinari: Rob reckons the Italian could have prospered further with more forceful putting

His one slight downfall could be that he is not the most aggressive putter and perhaps that is why he has only won three times on the European Tour - not that winning three times on the European Tour is an easy feat - and lost in three play-offs.

However, Molinari will be very familiar with this week's venue, Turin's Royal Park I Roveri course, and will be hoping for a strong performance heading into the Ryder Cup, which I think he will play a key role in for Team Europe.

Molinari is a very efficient and consistent golfer and doesn't tend to waste too many shots.

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week

Italian Open

10.30am, Thu, Sky Sports 2 HD
Click here for full coverage details
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Molinari played with his brother in the fourballs and foursomes at the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, but I see him playing mostly foursomes in Medinah.

He will be a perfect player in that format as you know he will always leave his partner sitting serenely on the fairway or in with a chance of holing a putt.


Young gun Matteo Manassero will also be in action in his homeland this week and he can be very proud of his career to date, which is still in its embryonic stage.

He has already won a couple of times on the European Tour and is ranked inside the world's top 100, which are great achievements for a 19-year-old who has not fully developed yet.

I predict that the man from Verona will keep on improving once he gets a man's body, the strength to hit the ball further and becomes more accustomed to Tour life.

However, it would be foolish to expect Manassero to emulate Rory McIlroy's list of accolades; you can't speak about the men in the same breath.

The Ulsterman has won his first two Majors by eight shots and claimed six victories on the PGA Tour by the age of 23 - the same amount Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo won in their entire careers - and is at a whole different level.

Matteo is special but he isn't THAT special - yet.


At the other end of the age spectrum to Manassero is 55-year-old Costantino Rocca, another Italian who will be gracing the picturesque Royal Park I Roveri from Thursday.

I've always enjoyed watching Costantino play; he has always been very expressive and should probably have won the Open Championship in 1995 at St Andrews when he lost in a play-off to John Daly.

Rocca has been a pioneer for Italian golf and I'm sure the Molinari brothers and Manassero will cite him as someone they looked up to while they were making their way in the game.

The veteran is unlikely to challenge at the top of the leaderboard in Turin - and neither will a few others if they hit the ball into to the course's dangerous long rough! The players love going there, though, and I'm expecting some quality golf.

As well as Molinari, Ryder Cup stars Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer will be aiming to fine-tune their game ahead of the big Europe-USA showdown in Chicago later this month - and it is a real boost for the tournament that three such established players will be in attendance.


Martin Kaymer (20/1) played well last week at the KLM Open in the Netherlands before falling away a little bit in the final rounds. The German is working hard on his game and will come good sooner or later, and I think he can win in Turin.

back to top

Other Golf Experts:

Latest Posts in Golf:

Latest News RSS feeds

Dubai Desert Classic latest

Click for leaderboard updates from The Emirates. Watch the action live on Sky Sports 4 from 6am.

McIlroy in the mix in Dubai

Rory McIlroy believes he’s made "a nice start" to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after firing a six-under 66 in the opening round.

Dream come true for Sullivan

Andy Sullivan has described partnering Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer in Dubai as one of the best days of his life.

Rory: Make Clarke Euro skipper

Rory McIlroy has again given his support to Darren Clarke in the battle to become Europe's Ryder Cup skipper.

Only victory will do for McIlroy

Rory McIlroy admits he will be disappointed with anything less than victory at the Dubai Desert Classic .


Titleist announce the launch of the 2015 edition of the Pro V1 family

Titleist announce the launch of the 2015 edition of the Pro V1 family

The most popular ball in golf has undergone another upgrade, and the 2015 edition of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x has already proved an instant hit on the professional circuit.

Players to watch in 2015

Players to watch in 2015

Who are the outstanding new players to look out for in the forthcoming 2015 season? Some of the best players in the world pick their ones to watch.

Stroke Saver - Driving drills

Stroke Saver - Driving drills

Simon Holmes has 2 tips to help your tempo & swing thoughts with your driving.