Molinari Reveals The Key To His Success – Beating McIlroy Head-To-Head Last May At BMW PGA

Francesco Molinari has revealed the continuing secret to his latest victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational – beating Rory McIlroy head-to-head last May at Wentworth.

Molinari brilliantly duplicated McIlroy’s Bay Hill final round of 64 of a year ago to win ‘Arnie’s event’ by two shots.

Since the Italian golfing stallion and McIlroy went out in the final round of the BMW PGA Championship, Molinari has captured a first PGA Tour victory with a final day 62 at the Quicken Loans National, become the first Italian to win a Major with his Open Championship triumph at Carnoustie,  broke a European scoring record at the Ryder Cup, been crowned European No. 1, won a host of prestigious awards including the Association of Golf Writer’s coveted ‘Golfer of the Year’ and now captured a third PGA Tour title.

The 36-year old Turin golfer has also jumped from 33rd in the world to now be ranked No. 7 and just one place behind McIlroy.

Francesco Molinari captures the 2018 BMW PGA

Ten months ago, Molinari and McIlroy were tied for the BMW PGA lead with a round to play and with Molinari storming two clear early on and while McIlroy did birdie his closing two holes, Molinari was never headed in a round of 68 to McIlroy’s 70.

Ten weeks later, Molinari again relegated McIlroy into joint second place in becoming the first Italian to win a Major with a two-shot Scotland success.

Now in just his third event of a new season, and on a glorious Orlando spring afternoon, and with tournament host Arnold Palmer no doubt ‘looking on’, Molinari produced a Palmer-like final day charge in matching McIlroy’s 2018 winning 64 to send the Italian into favoritism to win next month’s Masters.

And while Molinari singled out his wife and also new club sponsors, Callaway for special praise, he singled out the confidence he’s gained since being paired last May in leafy Surrey alongside McIlroy.

“Yeah, it’s hard to point a finger at one thing but it’s obvious confidence has to do with a lot of it,” said Molinari

Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari go head-to-head at the 2018 MW PGA Photo – European Tour/Getty)

“When I won last year, playing with Rory in the last few groups, it wasn’t easy at all.

So, from there I started building my confidence and just saying I could get it done.

“I’ve also got to the state I’m not scared about going out on the golf course playing against anyone, but it’s just really hard for me to picture myself where I am at the moment.”

McIlroy is probably posing the same question to himself in now having let slip yet another Tour title, and what would have been a first successful defence in his career.

The four-time Major champ had referenced Abraham Lincoln ahead of the Arnold Palmer and it is becoming increasingly frustrating to take McIlroy at his word.

It’s now more than 12 months since he won the Arnold Palmer while it is almost 30 months since he stormed his way to victory in winning the 2016 Tour Championship.

McIlroy congratulates Molinari winning the first of three victories in 2018. (Photo – European Tour)

In his five starts this year, McIlroy has now finished fourth, tied- fifth, tied-fourth, second and tied-sixth. He has 12 top-10s in his last 23 worldwide starts.

However, McIlroy is now 0-for-9 since the start of the 2018 season when he’s started the final round in the final group.

“I’m playing well, I’m getting myself into contention every week,” he said

“That’s the great thing about golf, you don’t have to wait too long to get back on the horse.”

Though sooner or later you must get tired of constantly being bucked off the horse!



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