If you were to ask me in the beginning of the year if Francesco Molinari would one of the biggest story lines in 2018, I would not have believed you. NO WAY! Well, he showed us up this year and arguably had the best year of his career. I don’t think anyone will questions that. He showed up early and finished late with a lights out Ryder Cup performance. This dude made some serious MONEY in 2018!!!
First, it started with the BMW PGA Championship where he held off a charging Rory Mcllroy to turn a five shot Saturday deficit into a two shot win on Sunday. This was definitely a huge momentum win as he proved that his game is good enough to compete with top players in the world.
His world just started to heat up as he traveled to the Quicken Loans National (Tiger’s Event) and smoked the field with a crazy 62 (-8) on Sunday. He won the event by a record 8 shots and was able to gain full PGA tour player status. As a pseudo-journeyman, he has always battled to retain full player status on the PGA tour.
Now let’s get into the The British Open. Honestly, he was not even close to being on my radar at Carnoustie and that’s on me. I think he struck me as a solid player but I just didn’t believe that he had the talent to win a major. Being such a dark horse in The Open, he played a flawless four rounds of golf. With Jordan and Tiger both lingering, I thought he would fold on Sunday and Tiger would win in miraculous fashion. However, he put together a ball-striking clinic and closed the deal. At one of the hardest courses on The Open rotation, HE DIDN’T MAKE A SINGLE BOGEY ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY!!!!
As he achieved a boyhood dream in Scottland, a few weeks later he saw similar success in Paris. Six years removed from his last Ryder Cup, him and Tommy Fleetwood put on an absolute clinic. They went 4-0 on the week and played some of the best partner golf I have ever seen. He proceeded to cap off an unbelievable week with a singles win on Sunday to go 5-0. He is the only European player to ever achieve this record.
In November, he won the Race to Dubai and capped off an incredible 2018. He currently sits at number 6 in the world. As I am very excited to watch him in 2019, it will be interesting to see if he can follow up his 2018 with a better 2019. The expectations will be very high. Especially in the Majors. All eyes are on AUGUSTA baby!!