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NOVEMBER
8

 

1982 Francesco Molinari is born in Turin, Italy, the younger brother of fellow European Tour and Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari. After a promising amateur career in his home country, twice winning the Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship (2002 and '04) then taking the Match Play Championship of 2004, he turned professional later that year and earned his European Tour card at Q-School.
He won his first title in his national Championship at the Telecom Italia Open, and won the WGC-HSBC Championship of 2010, beating Lee Westwood by a shot. He also won the Spanish Open of 2012.
With brother Edoardo he won the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup for Italy, and the pair also played together as rookies in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, with Francesco qualifying by right and Edoardo being a Captain's pick. The pair were undefeated, gaining 1½ points as a team with a win in the foursomes and a half in the fourballs. In the singles, Edoardo halved again with Rickie Fowler and Francesco beat Tiger Woods convincingly by 4&3.
Francesco also played on the 2012 Ryder Cup team at Medinah without his brother, losing once in both foursomes and fourballs, but clinched the crucial half point for Europe's outright victory in his match with Tiger Woods when Woods missed his final putt and conceded the half. He is therefore undefeated in two Ryder Cup singles against Woods, pretty good for someone who is a fine ball-striker but who has on occasion been slightly suspect on the greens, especially around the hole.

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