Molinari makes claim for wild-card

While Colin Montgomerie was extolling the well-timed charge of Padraig Harrington in New Jersey, Edoardo Molinari was just a few feet away here doing the utmost to get himself noticed in the great wild-card war.

The "FedEx Four" can do what they want 3,000 miles away, but the Italian knows he is just two good rounds from making it almost impossible for the Scot not to select him as one of his three on Sunday.

A second round of 68 put Molinari on six-under, three off the pace set by England's Gary Boyd and France's Julien Guerrier. It was just the latest evidence of a truth which everyone on the range already knew – Edoardo is quality. Indeed, a straw poll was conducted by Sky Sports among the pros in this Johnnie Walker Championship about who most deserves a wild card and Molinari came out as the overwhelming winner.

Alas, the 29-year-old recognises tomorrow's selection will not go to a vote. He needs to impress one man. "I think the way I've played this year I'd already be in Colin's mind," said Molinari who cannot qualify by right. "So if I win this week I think the pressure on him to pick [me] will be huge."

The reasons for his inclusion barely require repeating. "I've won, had a lot of top 10s and come second in America, too. So if I don't make it I can count myself unlucky," he said. Then there is the relationship he has with a player whose berth is already confirmed. Edoardo just happened to win last year's World Cup alongside his brother Francesco.

It is a compelling case only weakened by the identities of the stay-away quartet competing in the first event of the play-off series in America. Yesterday, Harrington reeled off a 68 to put himself right into contention for more than just The Barclays. Monty wasn't surprised.

"When his back's to the wall he's done awfully well in the past," he crooned. "So all credit to him for showing some form when he has to. I was very interested in the way Padraig reacted to taking six at the last at the USPGA to miss the cut by one. Within five minutes of signing his card he was on the range. That says a lot."

Paul Casey also performed commendably, lying one behind Harrington after a 69, while Justin Rose shot the same number to stand on one-under. With Luke Donald due out later in the day, it was turning into a mad scramble for Monty's affections.

"In a perfect world, I would have liked another week of that FedEx competition," he said. "Corey [Pavin, the US captain] has the advantage of looking at the first two weeks of the FedEx competition to see who is on form. Any captain would like as much time as possible."

Monty has two days, although at least the top nine automatics are beginning to look set. Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, the two who can be caught here at Gleneagles, are on six-under and apparently trailing Simon Dyson's every step. The Yorkshireman is also on six-under but needs the win and his rivals to finish down the field.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee