HomeSportsMolinari, The 2018 Hero, Says He'll Miss Upcoming Ryder Cup

Molinari, The 2018 Hero, Says He’ll Miss Upcoming Ryder Cup

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy: The man who contributed the most to Europes team in the 2018 Ryder Cup triumph will almost certainly be missing from this months competition at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

Still recovering from a back problem that kept him out of this years PGA Championship and Tokyo Olympics, Francesco Molinari all but officially withdrew himself from consideration on Padraig Harringtons team.

I dont think theres any hope. I dont even want to consider it with the condition that Im in, Molinari told The Associated Press after a 52nd-place finish at his home Italian Open on Sunday. I dont think I would be useful to the team so its better if someone in better form goes.

Molinaris form is far from his sterling performance at Le Golf National in France three years ago, when he became the first European, and second player overall in the competitions current format, to go 5-0 at a Ryder Cup by clinching the decisive point over Phil Mickelson.

In 2018, Molinari teamed with close friend Tommy Fleetwood to win four points in fourballs and foursomes matches in a partnership that was labeled Moliwood.

Molinari and Fleetwood played in the same grouping for the opening two rounds this week but their performances stood in sharp contrast.

Fleetwood ended the tournament in a tie for second behind Danish winner Nicolai Hjgaard.

So, did Molinari suggest a new partner for Fleetwood at this years Ryder Cup, which will be held Sept. 24-26?

No, we didnt talk about it, Molinari said. We talked about other things, as you do between friends. We see each other often.

But Molinari did suggest that this week could serve as practice for a Moliwood revival at the 2023 Ryder Cup, which will be held at the Marco Simone club just outside Rome that hosted this weekend’s tournament.

Lets hope so, the 2018 British Open champion said. Lets hope we can both qualify next time.

The completely redesigned Marco Simone course was tested for the first time this week.

Its a great course, Molinari said. There are maybe a couple of things to adjust slightly. Thats absolutely normal for what is essentially a completely new course. A couple of greens where the slope is a bit exaggerated can be shaved down a bit. Thats the only thing.

How about Hjgaards ability to drive the green on the 352-yard, par-4 16th hole, which led to an eagle on Saturday?

Thats OK for match play, Molinari said. It can add some intrigue to match play.

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

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