Francesco Molinari reflects on 'massive' win at Wentworth
By Keith Jackson at Wentworth
Last Updated: 18/09/19 6:04pm
Francesco Molinari has described his BMW PGA Championship win last year as "massive" for his confidence and a key factor that led to his memorable Open triumph at Carnoustie.
Molinari produced an outstanding display of front-running to hold off playing-partner Rory McIlroy at Wentworth last May, and his victory sparked a magnificent run of results which included his maiden major title less than two months later, where he again upstaged McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
The Italian also recorded a record-breaking five wins out of five at the Ryder Cup, although he has had a quieter 2019 and picked up his only silverware at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
But he remains inside the world's top 10 and is looking forward to defending his BMW PGA title in the first September playing of the tournament.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
Reflecting on his triumph last May, Molinari said: "It was massive because I had been in a similar position to last year here without being able to close the tournament out. It just gave me a lot of confidence.
"I was watching a video of the last few holes on Sunday, and you could see I was uncomfortable in that position. I think that was the first step forward to getting more comfortable in leading a tournament and closing it out.
"I think if you compare it to Carnoustie, it's pretty easy to see the difference. I'm quite happy the way it went and yeah if I get into that position again this year, hopefully I'll hit a better third shot into 18!
"The win in the States (Quicken Loans National) obviously helped even more going into The Open, which gave me even more confidence then going into the Ryder Cup. I'm sure when I stop playing, I'll reflect on last year as an amazing year, but especially those three months, May, June, July were something it would be hard to reproduce.
"Obviously I'll work as hard as I can to do it, but I know I've set a pretty high standard," added Molinari, who looked on course to collect a second major title at the Masters in April, only to find water twice on the back nine on Sunday as Woods stormed to his first major victory in almost 11 years.
"I had a really good start of the season and then, after the Masters, obviously I haven't performed as well," said Molinari, who has not posted a top-10 finish in his eight starts since his Augusta National disappointment.
"I think there's been maybe some scheduling issues. I've played decent golf in the other majors, apart from the PGA. I'm happy the way I played at the US Open and The Open, but I'm not happy the way I played in the other tournaments.
"It's hard to pinpoint one reason as to why. I've spoken to the people around me and we're trying to work out how best to move forward, and to play better golf."