Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2023 Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy

How the 2010 Ryder Cup bow proved fitting reward for Edoardo Molinari.

"In my 25 years on Tour I don't think I have ever seen a finish of that quality under such pressure by anyone, anywhere.”

High praise from Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie when asked about Edoardo Molinari’s final round performance at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles – the final qualifying event for the 2010 Ryder Cup – by one shot in 2010.

The victory – Molinari’s second on Tour in as many months and sealed with three birdies in the final three holes – saw the Italian named days later as one of three wildcard picks by Montgomerie, joining Pádraig Harrington and Luke Donald.

Earlier that summer, Molinari claimed his first Tour title at the Scottish Open as he finished three shots clear of Darren Clarke at Loch Lomond.

Having begun the 2009 season ranked 678th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Molinari had gone from playing on the second-tier Challenge Tour to registering seven top fives and breaking inside the world’s top 15.

When you factor in the victory he shared with brother Francesco at the 2009 World Cup weeks after the former topped the Challenge Tour rankings – it was easy to understand why he had received a wildcard pick.

Brothers in Arms

Notably, both Molinari’s titles – each coming in Montgomerie’s home country of Scotland – occurred when he played alongside brother Francesco in the final round.

It was fitting then that Edoardo joined Francesco, an automatic qualifier, in Montgomerie’s team to face the United States at the Celtic Manor Resort later that year.

The Molinari’s became the first siblings to play in the Ryder Cup since Bernard and Geoff Hunt teed it up for Great Britain in 1963.

In playing at the 2010 Ryder Cup, Edoardo, and for that matter Francesco, followed in the footsteps of their idol Constantino Rocca, Italy’s first player to represent Europe in the contest.

Rocca was a trailblazer for Italian golf on the global stage during the 1990s, playing in three consecutive editions from 1993 to 1997.

A rainy Celtic Manor

Aside the rare occurrence of brothers playing on the same side, the 2010 Ryder Cup was also notably affected by abysmal weather conditions that hit the Twenty Ten Course.

Torrential rain postponed most of the Friday’s play, meaning the final day took place for the first time on a Monday.

When the opening session of fourballs was completed on Saturday morning, USA held a 2.5 – 1.5 lead.

The weather delays from the opening day resulted in three sessions of four matches being converted into two sessions of six matches each, requiring all 24 players to play during Sessions 2 and 3.

After losing by two holes to Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan in their opening match, the Molinari’s bounced back to claim a half a point against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar in their fourball match.

Following a weather delayed start to Sunday’s play, and leading one up through five holes overnight, the Italian pairing found themselves one down after the 14th as Kuchar made three birdies in four holes from the 10th.

But the rookie pair won the par-five 18th with a birdie to claim a half point and ensure USA did not claim a full point in any of the six matches that session.

The hosts held a 9.5 - 6.5 lead going into the final session of Singles matches , which saw Edoardo matched up against fellow rookie Rickie Fowler.

On what proved to be a tense day of golf, Molinari appeared set to deliver his first full point in European colours as he held a 3up lead through 15, only for Fowler to birdie the final three holes to claim a half point.

Team Europe required 14.5 points to regain the Ryder Cup and were one short, with all eyes now turning to Graeme McDowell’s match against Mahan in the final ?ingles match.

Anxiety soon gave way to euphoria as the Northern Irishman birdied the 16th from 15 feet to go 2up, before he sealed victory on the 17th green when Mahan conceded the hole after leaving his chip just short of the green.

Inspiring others

When Henrik Stenson was announced in March as Team Europe Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Country Club, Molinari was quick to offer his congratulations.

“Congratulations Captain Stenson and good luck in my home country, I am sure you will do a great job!”,

Stenson, in turn, was quick to offer his appreciation and has now turned to the 2005 U.S. Amateur winner as his second Vice Captain, following his earlier selection of Dane Thomas Bjørn.

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