Maiden Majors For Japan & Italy Beckon For Matsuyama & Molinari

Quail Hollow, NC …

Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari share a common thread at this week’s 99th PGA Championship.

It is not the fact they each recorded a new course record 64 on day two of the event at Quail Hollow.

Also it has nothing to do with the fact they have each captured a WGC – HSBC Championship or that they each won their own national Open.

No, for Matsuyama and Molinari the weight of their own nation rests on their shoulders now over the weekend as the 25-year old Matsuyama looks to become the first Japan-born golfer to win a Major Champonship, and with the nine years older Molinari looking to do Italy proud in being the first Italian to win at golf’s highest level.

Hideki Matsuyama wins 2016 WGC – HSBC Champions.

In moving into a share of the second round lead at eight-under par with American Kevin Kisner Matsuyama the World No. 3 ranked Matsuyama needed just 23 putts.

“I’m riding the momentum from the round that I had on Sunday, and again, hopefully I can keep that going for 36 more holes,” he said.

“I don’t know if the other players should be nervous or not, but this is my first experience leading a major, or tied for the lead after 36 holes. And so being a new experience, maybe I’ll be a little nervous, but on the other hand, I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing how I do.”

Not since Costantino Rocca went so close to capturing the 1995 Open Championship at St. Andrews has Italy had a player like Molinari who can win at the game’s highest level.


Francesco Molinari

Molinari, who also shot a day two 64 to move to a share of fifth place at five under par, is this week contesting his 33 Major Championship and with Italian golf ready to celebrate a Majors first ahead of Italy hosting the 2022 Ryder Cup.

Molinari has done virtually everything in golf including capturing a WGC title winning the World Cup of Golf with his brother Edoardo and late last year denying Masters Champion, Danny Willett to win his home Italian Open for a second time in his career.

And Molinari is two wins from two starts in the Ryder Cup.


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