Francesco Molinari - Best team I've been part of
Francesco Molinari may enter this week's Ryder Cup as the Open Champion but he insists he is just one of the guys when he sets foot in the European team room.
The Italian has been in the form of his life this summer, claiming his first Rolex Series victory at the BMW PGA Championship and finishing second on home soil at the Italian Open the following week.
A first win on the US PGA Tour followed and then came that glorious week at Carnoustie, with a tie for sixth at the US PGA Championship last month meaning he had finished in the top 25 at all four Major Championships.
He arrives at Le Golf National at Number Five in the Official World Golf Ranking and while he admits he is a different player to the one who last played in Medinah in 2012, he does not believe his standing in the team room has changed.
"It's different obviously coming in after a season like I've had," he said. "I think I've improved a lot as a player since 2012 and I hope to show that on the course this week.
"But on the other hand, it doesn't really matter what you've done so far. It's about those three days and the kind of golf that you can produce in those three days. So I'm looking forward to some good prep these next few days and hopefully some good golf at the weekend.
"We are 12 players. I think the 12 of us are really, really capable of great golf. I think this is probably the best Team I've been part of.
"I think everything kind of resets this week and I'll do my best. I'll see how many matches I'll play and whatever it's going to be, I'll do my best to bring some points and try to help the cause of the Team.
"One of the strengths of the European side I think has always been making everyone feel the same. We all start at zero points at the beginning of the week, so it doesn't matter if you won a Major or if you won more than one Major, just how many points can you win this week.
"If they want me to lead, I'll try to lead with my style. I'm not going to change anything for three days."
In Molinari's two prvious Ryder Cups he has faced Tiger Woods in the singles, losing in 2010 and claiming a half as part of the dramatic Miracle at Medinah. Woods is back in Ryder Cup action this week, returned from a career-threatening injury and fresh off a first win in five years.
The 14-time Major Champion was also Molinari's playing parter on Sunday at Carnoustie, but the 35 year old does ot hink there is any comparison between the pressure of a Major and a Ryder Cup.
"You won't believe me but it's nowhere near," he said. "Carnoustie was nowhere near Medinah or in any matching ways. It's hard to believe but it's probably because you play for a Team, you play for a continent in our case, and you know about the tradition and what players have done in the past."