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Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Molinari brothers ready to take Ryder Cup by storm

As tension builds in The Ryder Cup, Europe’s brotherly duo kicked up speculation that this could be a week headlined by some exciting pairings.

By Alex Terrell

Whilst Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell claimed bragging rights on Tuesday’s opening practice session, winning by two holes, it was their conquerors at last year’s World Cup, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, who could provide the story of The 2010 Ryder Cup.

Despite the rivalry off the course, older brother Edoardo remains steadfast that their rivalry is beneficial.

“We are quite calm and cool under pressure, so there's not really much we do with each other or we say to each other," he said.

“Obviously if you get a little bit too tense or too nervous, you know that your brother is always there to try and help you.  So it's always a great help to be playing alongside him.”

Indeed, the pair have been hitting the headlines in their native Italy, where interest in The Ryder Cup was cultivated by Constantino Rocca in the nineties.

Rocca is said to have wept with joy upon hearing both Molinaris names in Colin Montgomerie’s team.

Nevertheless it is Italy’s most sacred of sports, football, that marks a divide in the Molinari duo – Francesco is an Inter Milan fan, whilst Edoardo spent his build-up practicing his game with retired legend of his beloved Juventus, Pavel Nedved.

Edoardo Molinari has begun a meteoric rise to prominence for this Ryder Cup, starting with victories in the 2010 Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond as well as the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan and sealing his place with his win in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Younger brother Francesco, however, has been a model of consistency this season, including 11 top-ten finishes to qualify him for automatic selection, and hopes that he and his brother can help the game’s profile in Italy:

“It’s great not only for Italian golf but for Italian sport in general.  To have two guys here is something that only a few years ago was almost unthinkable.

“I guess everyone who has been involved with us, with our career, is really proud that we are here, and obviously it’s quite big news, two brothers in The Ryder Cup.  So it’s going to be good for golf in Italy to get more popular.

“All of the main newspapers are talking about it, and TV as well.  Italian television is going to cover the tournament, so it’s going to be quite big for golf.”

European Captain Colin Montgomerie promised that the Molinaris will be paired together at some point throughout the competition, and believes the brothers will make their rivalry work at The Ryder Cup:

“They are great and very excited to be here.  They were excited in the team room last night. 

“It's great to see the first brother relationship that's played in our European Team, and I wish them well and I do think they will do very well.  They are very up for the whole competition.”

Montgomerie sees the maturity of a brotherly duo, who seemed only to want to arrive at The Ryder Cup together, or as Edoardo puts it, not at all:

“We get along very well with each other since we were starting to play golf when we were  ten, 11 years old, but obviously there was a little bit of competition and rivalry between each other.

“But I think it’s done very good for us, because when you see your brother playing better, you want to improve and you want to catch him.  I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re here this week, both of us.”
 

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