Molinari's incredible journey can deliver him to a major destination

The former amateur from Turin enjoyed a remarkable 2010 and is aiming for more success at the Open

You could not make up Edoardo Molinari's story; it is too far-fetched, and nobody would believe a word of it. But here are the edited highlights: in 2005 he won the US Amateur championship – something that Italian golfers simply don't do. It meant he received invitations to play in the Masters, US Open and Open Championship in 2006. He later turned professional and headed for the Challenge Tour (perhaps somebody would be good enough to explain why a former US Amateur champion does not receive an automatic exemption for the European Tour) where, in 2007, he won twice and gained his full card.

It didn't go to plan in 2008, however, and Molinari failed to keep his card. He returned to the Challenge Tour in 2009 and topped the order of merit, which gave him another shot at the big time.

Before that could happen, however, he teamed up with his brother Francesco in the World Cup and, lo and behold, they only went and won the thing. Now that definitely wasn't meant to happen.

There was more to come, although even in his wildest dreams, Molinari could never have imagined how last year would turn out. First of all, he won the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, paired with his brother in the final round. And then, with Colin Montgomerie about to name his Ryder Cup wildcards, he secured the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, having to birdie each of the last three holes to beat Brett Rumford of Australia by a shot. Once again, his brother was playing alongside him during the last round.

Monty had no choice but to give Molinari a place on his team, stating that the Italian's finish at Gleneagles was one of the best he had ever seen. Molinari was pretty satisfied with it too. "I was a man on a mission at Gleneagles and there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders there," he said. Alongside Francesco, he duly played his part in Europe's stunning success at Celtic Manor.

He had also managed to fit in a superb performance at the Bay Hill Invitational, which is Arnold Palmer's tournament, where he finished second to Ernie Els and picked up a cheque for more than $500,000 (£311,000). To top it all, he finished the year ranked 18th in the world – he had started 2009 ranked 848th. It was quite a season, and it encouraged him to spend more time in America this year. Unsurprisingly, his game has suffered a little, but he still managed 11th place in the Masters, and has high hopes of doing well at the Open.

"I haven't played great so far this year, having a good finish at the Masters and another top 10," he said. "It's just a matter of being patient and starting to hole a few putts."

There would be no better place for it all to come right for the man from Turin than at Royal St George's, starting today. Determined to play well, he spent some time at the end of last month getting to know the course, trying to work out the no-go areas on a links that has been criticised over the years by players who consider some of the bounces and breaks to be unfair.

"It is a tough course and a great challenge, but this is the Open so I would expect nothing less," Molinari said. "You have to hit fairways and you have to take your medicine when you miss them, but it is in fantastic condition, and if I can get my putter working, who knows what might happen? I have prepared well, and I am ready to go."

Italian golf is on a high. Edoardo has been practising this week with Francesco, himself regarded as one of the best ball strikers in the game, and then there is the remarkable Matteo Manassero – two years ago, at the age of 16, he finished as the leading amateur in the Open at Turnberry, and the 18-year-old, who is now in the paid ranks, has already won twice on the European Tour and demonstrated that he has the game to challenge for majors.

All three have had an incredible journey to date, but it has only just begun, and it is not inconceivable that Edoardo could pick up the claret jug on Sunday.

Would it be stretching it too far to imagine that Francesco will be alongside him in the final pairing again?

Edoardo Molinari, who is managed by 4Sports, will be writing exclusively for 'The Independent' during the Open

Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral