CAPE TOWN – Francesco Molinari won his first major title by clinching the Open Championship at Carnoustie on Sunday. Here are five things you need to know about the 35-year-old from Turin…
1 Molinari is the first Italian to win a major
His previous best finish was tied second at last year’s PGA Championship. The closest any Italian golfer got to bagging one of the big four championships in golf was the venerable Constantino Rocca. The now-61-year-old finished second to American John Daly in a playoff at the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews.
2 He has won nine pro titles
Apart from the Open, Molinari’s other big tournament wins came at the BMW PGA Championship in May this year, and the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2010. His largest margin of victory came three weeks ago, when he clinched the Quicken Loans National by eight shots.
3 He once caddied for his brother Edoardo at the Masters in same group as Tiger Woods
The vagaries of golf… In the 2006 Masters, Francesco caddied for his brother Edoardo in the same group as Tiger Woods. Twelve years later, Francesco the caddie became Francesco the Open champion, and he beat Tiger Woods in the process!
4 Biggest payday of his career
Molinari picked up a cheque of £1.44 million, which equates to R25.4 million.
5 He is married and has two children
His wife Valentina, who has an MBA, was at Carnoustie on Sunday, and they have been married for 11 years. They have a young son and daughter, and live in London.