If you’re not an avid golf fan, the name Francesco Molinari might not ring any bells. But you’ve seen his name near the top of the leaderboard all week at the 2019 Masters. And this is no fluke. Molinari is a proven champion who is one of the hottest golfers on the planet right now.
Since you’ll see him splashed across your TV screen during Sunday’s the final round of the Masters (right next to Tiger Woods), we compiled a little background info on him to give you some insight into the PGA Tour star.
1. Francesco Molinari is a major champion
That’s right. While Francesco has a great chance at winning the 2019 Masters and his first green jacket, it won’t be his first major championship title. Molinari won the 2018 British Open at Carnousite last summer, beating a playing partner he will be paired with again in the final round at Augusta National: Tiger Woods.
Molinari has had an epic stretch of golf over the past 12 months (he also won the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational a month ago), and the Open victory is certainly the highlight. But winning a second major in the last three tries, and a Masters no less, would put him in the golf stratosphere.
2. He’s the pride of Italy
Francesco Molinari hails from Italy. He was born in the city of Turin on Nov. 8, 1982, which makes him 36 years old. In 2006, he captured his first European Tour victory at the Telecom Italia Open, becoming the first Italian since 1980 to win the country’s flagship golf event. He also won the 2009 Italian PGA Championship, and the World Cup of Golf alongside his brother Eduardo. Speaking of his brother…
3. His brother is a pro golfer
Molinari isn’t the only pro golfer in his family. His older brother Edoardo Molinari is a pro, too. Edoardo, whose got his nickname “Dodo” when Francesco couldn’t pronounce his name as a child, won the 2005 U.S. Amateur and has three European Tour wins in his career.
That U.S. Amateur title gave Edoardo a spot in the 2006 Masters, where he played alongside Tiger Woods. His caddie for that Masters was a familiar face…
4. He caddied alongside Tiger at the Masters
That’s right. When Edoardo played the Masters, his younger brother Francesco carried his bags. You can read all about that round here. Francesco and Tiger will meet again in the final group on Masters Sunday 13 years later.
5. He’s a Ryder Cup hero
Francesco Molinari qualified for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France thanks to his stellar season last year. It was his third appearance on the European Ryder Cup team. He previously played on victorious European side’s in 2010 and 2012, but last year’s performance at Le Golf National was by far his best. Molinari went undefeated with an incredible 5-0 record at that 2018 event to lead Team Europe to a huge victory.
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