Molinari eyeing hat-trick of British wins at Walton Heath
September 19, 2018
Francesco Molinari will aim to make history by securing a unique hat-trick of victories on British soil when he joins tournament host and World Number One Justin Rose at the Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath Golf Club from October 11-14.
The Italian has already triumphed at the BMW PGA Championship and The Open Championship in 2018, and if he takes the title at Walton Heath next month he will become the first man to win all three tournaments in the same year.
Molinari became the first Italian to lift the Claret Jug – and the first to win a Major - when he prevailed at Carnoustie Golf Links in July during a run of scintillating summer form which began with victory at the BMW PGA Championship and has helped move him to the top of the Race to Dubai.
After the 35 year old’s Wentworth Club victory, he secured a runner-up finish on home soil at the Italian Open, another Rolex Series event, the following week before winning the Quicken Loans National on the US PGA Tour at the beginning of July.
London-based Molinari then made history by winning The 147th Open, finishing two shots ahead of Rose, another one of his 2018 Ryder Cup teammates Rory McIlroy and American duo Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
With victory at the BMW PGA Championship – the first Rolex Series event of the year – and The Open, Molinari joined McIlroy as the only men to win both events in the same year.
Should the soon-to-be three-time Ryder Cup player triumph at Walton Heath next month, he will etch his name into the record books as the first player to win the British trio of events in the same season.
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“I'm really excited to return to the Sky Sports British Masters,” the said the World Number Six. “Justin is doing a great job as tournament host and that certainly helped convince me to play. Hopefully we will both be returning to Britain as Ryder Cup winners with Europe.
“Walton Heath is an unbelievable venue and I know it will provide a real test. It would be great to add the British Masters to my wins at Wentworth and Carnoustie, but I'm not thinking about that too much. I would just like to continue my good form and hopefully put in a strong performance.”
Molinari is the latest in a string of stars to confirm their commitment to the Sky Sports British Masters, with 2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood, defending champion Paul Dunne, five-time European Tour winner Matt Fitzpatrick and Matt Wallace, who has three wins under his belt in 2018, among those already confirmed to tee it up at Walton Heath.
Tournament host Rose said: “Having Francesco commit to the Sky Sports British Masters is a huge boost for this event and I'm sure the British crowds will be delighted to see The Open Champion return just under three months after his win at Carnoustie.”
Walton Heath has hosted a number of leading events over the years, including The 1981 Ryder Cup, the European Open on five occasions between 1978 and 1991, and The 2011 Senior Open Championship, won by American Russ Cochran.
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