British Masters Betting: Can Molinari secure historic hat-trick at Walton Heath?
The Italian has enjoyed an incredible 2018 thanks to an Open Championship victory and a stunning display at the Ryder Cup but as Matthew Crist explains, a win at the British Masters will complete a trio of trophies which has never been won before.
"As well as fine individual form Molinari also comes into the British Masters having taken five points from a possible five at Le Golf National – something never achieved before by a European player."
Fine year for Francesco
After his record breaking exploits at The Ryder Cup Francesco Molinari will be looking to make history once more and complete a trio of triumphs on UK soil by winning the British Masters at Walton Heath this weekend. He's the [11.0] joint second favourite - fittingly alongside Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood - behind [8.4] jolly Justin Rose, who is the host of the event.
Having already won the BMW PGA Championship back in May, as well as The Open Championship by two shots at Carnoustie in July, if Molinari prevails at the Masters, which begins on October 11, he will be the first man ever to win all three tournaments in the same year.
Becoming the first Italian to lift the Claret Jug at the 147th Open was just one highlight of a sensational summer for the 35-year old from Turin which had begun brightly with his victory at Wentworth, a feat which was then followed-up by a win on the PGA tour in the Quicken Loans National and a second place finish in the Italian open in front of his adoring home fans.
Record breaking Ryder Cup
As well as fine individual form Molinari also comes into the British Masters having taken five points from a possible five at Le Golf National - something never achieved before by a European player.
Playing alongside Fleetwood the pair, who became affectionately known as "Moliwood," secured maximum points from their fourballs and foursomes matches on the first two days in France.
The Italian then rounded off an incredible individual performance with a singles win over Phil Mickelson on the Sunday - a victory which clinched the all important point needed for Europe to regain the famous trophy once more which sparked wild scenes of celebration.
All eyes on Walton Heath
Molinari will be joined at The British Masters by fellow former major champions Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, while two more former world number ones Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are also expected to be involved.
Walton Heath is no stranger to hosting top golfing events and was the venue for the 1981 Ryder Cup, as well as the European Open on five occasions, between 1978 and 1991, and is a course Molinari is looking forward to playing.
"It's an unbelievable venue and I know it will provide a real test. It would be great to add the British Masters to my wins at Wentworth and Carnoustie," Molinari told Sky Sports. "But I'm not thinking about that too much. I would just like to continue my good form and hopefully put in a strong performance."
Should the London based Italian claim his third win on British soil this year it will not only see him make history as the only golfer to ever do so, it will cap a near perfect 2018; while surely confirming his position as one of the top sportsman in the world over the past 12 months, not just in golf, but any field.