Francesco Molinari is the newly-crowned Open Champion after a sensational performance at Carnoustie, but what lies behind the Italian’s steely, determined exterior. We take a look, and bring you 10 things you should know about the 35 year old. When Tiger Woods shook hands with his playing partner Edoardo Molinari before the opening round of the 2006 Masters, it’s safe to say he would never have imagined the Italian’s caddie would one day join him as a Major champion.
Edoardo, the reigning US Amateur champion at 25, had called upon his younger brother Francesco, 23, to help him on his bag and 12 years later history is made with Italy’s first Major champion. To complete the remarkable circle, Francesco was paired with Woods during the final round in Scotland.
Speaking three languages fluently can come in very useful when your job sees you travelling the world as a professional golfer, so it’s great for Francesco that he counts his native Italian, English and Spanish as three languages he’s mastered. His English is very good, as is the six-time European Tour winner’s Spanish, which again is very useful as Molinari’s caddie and manager are both Spanish.
Pello Iguarán, the veteran Spanish caddie who used to work with José María Olazabal has been praised by his player for helping keep him calm in tough situations, so it’s just as well they can converse properly. To cap off an amazing week for the pair Iguarán also became the first Spanish caddy to raise the Claret Jug. What a team.
After starting the game at the age of eight years old with his parents and older brother Edoardo in Turin, Francesco played in his first tournament shortly after. Full of excitement Francesco completed his first competitive 18 holes in 95 shots. As he left the 18th green his brother was there to greet him and find out how his younger sibling got on. “Great”, said Francesco. “I shot 95!” Both brothers thought it was a great score, and maybe it was considering how new they were to the game. We suspect neither of them have shot a score like that since. How things change.