Bethpage - Reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari won't be carrying
bad memories from a late Masters collapse onto the course with him this
week at the PGA Championship.
The 36-year-old Italian led late in the final round at Augusta
National before a pair of double bogeys on the back nine allowed Tiger
Woods to pull away for his 15th career major crown.
"I've obviously analyzed what happened at Augusta with the people
around me, but it was pretty quick, I would say, and straightforward,"
Molinari said Wednesday.
"We got some feedback, most of it on the swing. If I look at Sunday
at Augusta, I almost played better on the back nine than on the front
nine, like how I was hitting the ball. The front nine I wasn't feeling
very comfortable hitting the ball off the tee, and I made a lot of good
up-and-downs. But you struggle to build momentum when you're struggling
to save par the whole time."
Molinari, however, doesn't rule out that his Masters memories could help him if he is in contention Sunday at Bethpage Black.
"If I'm up there again on Sunday, maybe I could take something that
could be useful from Augusta. But right now I can't really think of
much," he said. "It's just being in the situation. The more often you
get into it, naturally the better you're going to get at it, the more
relaxed you're going to feel in those conditions."
There wasn't any consolation for Molinari in his best Masters finish while battling a cold.
"I wasn't satisfied at all, but you look at things a bit differently.
I was happy the way I fought on Sunday and the way I played, but
obviously I was hoping for more at the beginning of the day," Molinari
"Really it was the first time I was leading in a major, at Carnoustie
I got the lead with only four holes to go, so you don't have even
really time to think about it, and it's done, it's over.
"Hopefully I can be there many more times and get a bit of luck at the right time."
Molinari has enjoyed a dream 12-month run, winning last May's European
Tour BMW PGA Championship, becoming the first Italian since 1947 to win a
US PGA event at the National, then taking his first major title at
He followed with five wins in as many matches to lead Europe's Ryder
Cup victory over the United States in France, captured the European
Tour's Race to Dubai and just two months ago won the Arnold Palmer
Invitational at Bay Hill.
"I feel very lucky to have been able to play this kind of golf in the
last few months and with every win comes a little more confidence,"
"The job for me now is to do my best to keep it going and in a few
years hopefully look back and appreciate what I managed to achieve.
While Molinari enjoys the peak moment of his career, he has confidence that there is also room for improvement.
"I hope this is not my peak. I think there's more room for
improvement," he said. "You need to keep improving even just to stay
where you are in the ranks.