Edoardo Molinari: Hats off to the crowd – thousands paid to get soaked for love of golf
My Open: I have played all over the world but nowhere do the galleries have a better appreciation of what it takes than here
Monday 18 July 2011
OK, so it is a case of job done. It wasn't part of the plan to finish with rounds of 76 and 78, and a 17-over-par total, but the conditions during the last two days were tough. Really tough.
The fact that I only had one birdie yesterday and that Harrison Frazar, my playing partner, went round in 80 speaks for itself.
Of course I am disappointed not to have finished better, especially after starting so well and also playing well on the second day.
I am not going to use it as an excuse because it was the same for everybody but the conditions on Saturday were just about the hardest I have ever experienced. I know that the weather often dominates proceedings at the Open but some of the pin placements during the third round were just about impossible to get at – we had wind and torrential, incessant rain.
Conditions for the final round were not much better, although at least the rain held off for most of the morning. If anything, though, the wind was even stronger, and it was blowing so hard across the 12th and 13th that it was impossible to keep the ball on the fairway.
After negotiating those, you then had to face the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes, which in these conditions represent just about the toughest finishing stretch in the game. They are hard enough when the weather is benign.
Winning when it is like this is about two things – patience and shot-making. Darren Clarke is one of the best in the business when it comes to shaping shots into the breeze and when he is at the top of his game he is very difficult to beat. The same thing applies to Thomas Bjorn. I haven't seen much of Dustin Johnson but there is far more to his game than the booming drives for which he is so well known.
I have to say something about the spectators, who have been just amazing. We play because it is our job to do so and we are well rewarded, but these men and women have had to pay to get in and I was very surprised at the size of the crowd on Saturday.
It would have been perfectly understandable had they decided to stay at home; instead, thousands upon thousands of them sat for hours in the rain and got drenched, but it did not dampen their enthusiasm in the least. I know that I wouldn't have sat there on Saturday like they did. Their enthusiasm and their knowledge of the game are second to none. I have played all over the world and nowhere do the galleries have a better appreciation of what it takes to play good golf.
It is also a pretty great feeling to walk down the 18th. No matter how well or poorly you have played, they cheer you all the way to the green. It is special. I love playing in the Open and look forward to many more – this one just goes down to experience, although I really do believe my game is in good shape.
I will now head back to Turin for two weeks. This week I will treat as a holiday and I will do very little, but next week I will start working on my game again. The next major is the US PGA Championship, and I am looking forward to that before returning to play in Europe and, of course, to defending my Johnnie Walker title at Gleneagles. It is a special course and tournament for me because that is where I secured my Ryder Cup place last season.
I am from Turin, so you will not be surprised to learn that I support Juventus. I am like every other football fan, and am looking forward to the coming season. We have had a tough time of it recently and are building a new team, but I have high hopes that in the year ahead we can finish in the top three in Serie A and qualify for the Champions League – a club like Juventus needs to be playing at the top level in Europe.
Edoardo Molinari is managed by 4Sports.
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