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July 5, 2011

Edoardo Molinari


MICHAEL GIBBONS: It's a pleasure to welcome back a defending champion, and different defence for you this week given you are defending The Barclays Scottish Open at a different venue. Give us your thoughts on course, having played it this morning.
EDOARDO MOLINARI: I played it this morning. The course is fantastic. It's similar to Kingsbarns but it's a better course than Kingsbarns, more fair and a great link course and obviously spectacular views and I think every player this week will golf this week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: How do you feel about defending on a different course.
EDOARDO MOLINARI: It's obviously a little bit strange. Would have loved to go back to Loch Lomond, I have such nice memories from there last year but it's a bit different. The course is totally different because Loch Lomond was soft and this is firm and quite fast but I enjoy playing links courses and I played a lot of links golf as an amateur so I'm really look forward to this week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: And your form, seems to be coming back a bit.
EDOARDO MOLINARI: I'm making a lot of cuts. I'm not playing anything spectacular at the moment but I'm hitting the ball nicely and putting quite well. I think it's just a question of time and putting everything together in a single week. So hopefully it will be this week or next week or as soon as possible.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: You'll take either of them.

Q. Do you see this as a good test for next week?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Absolutely. I think some of the fairways are quite generous, but some of the fairways are pretty narrow, so I think it's a great preparation for next week. Obviously it's going to be playing very firm, and it's going to be windy and possibly it's going to rain. So I think you can't have a better preparation for The Open Championship other than playing here.

Q. Can you reflect on the last ten months - was winning the Scottish Open last year a real turning point in your career?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Absolutely. I think Loch Lomond was my first European Tour win, it was my first big win, and it gave me a lot confidence for the rest of the season of last year. And then mostly thanks it to that and thanks to the other victory at Gleneagles I was able to play in The Ryder Cup. So I guess Loch Lomond was really as you say the turning point of my career so far.
And then obviously this year I haven't played great so far. I had a good finish at the Masters and another Top-10, but as I said before I've been very steady, making a lot of cuts and I feel like I'm very, very close to playing as well as I did last year, if not better.
As I say, it's just a matter of being patient and waiting for good things to happen.

Q. Have you been back to Loch Lomond since your victory?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: No, unfortunately not. I will go back there one day, whether it's this year or next year. I would love to go back there and play 18 with family or friends or whoever, and you know, my last memories of the prize-giving and then the last few holes on Sunday.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard of the move to Castle Stuart?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Well, everyone was saying great things about the course, and they were obviously right, because the course, as I said before, is fantastic. It's one of the best links courses we've ever played. And I think it's a great thing that the Scottish Open is on a links course and it's the week before The Open Championship.
I'm sure next year there will be even better players and even bigger field for this event, because it's the perfect preparation for The Open, and it's a great tournament. So I'm sure next year will be an even bigger event than this year.

Q. Is it more difficult than you thought?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Yeah, probably, because everyone was saying it was wide open, no rough, and as I said before, some of the fairways are generous but on some of the holes you need to hit the ball straight and you need to hit good iron shots into the greens.
So I mean, today obviously was quite windy. But it's not that easy. I think if the wind keeps blowing, I mean, it's going to be a decent test of golf. It's not going to be level par winning, but it's not going to be 25-under par winning.

Q. Have you played a links course with such wide fairways before?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: As I said before, I think Kingsbarns is quite similar to this course because some of the holes at Kingsbarns are wide open, and even the grass and the way the fairways are shaped, it's quite similar to Kingsbarns.
And you know, there are some courses where you have holes wide open like here, but I think the difficulty here would be sitting the second shots on to the green, because some of the holes, I remember I think the 14th is a short par 4 and the fairway is probably 60 yards wide. But if you're on the right side of the fairway and you're playing downwind, now you have a chance of holding the ball on the green. So even if the fairway is wide, in effect, only half of the fairway is good to hit the green from.

Q. What is better here than Kingsbarns?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Well, I think the greens are less extreme than Kingsbarns. There are some steep slopes and some big undulations, but it's not as difficult as Kingsbarns. Kingsbarns, if the wind is blowing strongly there, some of the greens are a little bit too extreme. While here, it's not the case. Here, every single green, even if the wind is blowing at 40 miles an hour would be perfectly playable with a lot of pin placements.

Q. Are you ready for The Open or do you need more work?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: As I said before, I feel like I'm hitting the ball nicely. It's been a very strange through weeks because the U.S. Open and Memorial and last week in France, I'm driving the ball as good as I've always done in my career. It's just a matter of, as I said, being patient and hole a few putts.
I think in professional golf, at this level, it's a very fine line, and sometimes you just need a couple of putts to drop early in the round and you can get it going and other times you start with a few bogeys and you're struggling to go back to level par.

Q. What was the more special of your two Scottish wins last year?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: Both. Well, I think Loch Lomond was probably the most special because it was my first win. It was probably a bigger event than Gleneagles with a better field, and you obviously remember the first win more vividly.
While Gleneagles, I was almost on a mission to make The Ryder Cup Team, and there was a lot more pressure at Gleneagles. When I finished, I was probably happier at Gleneagles because of The Ryder Cup.

Q. You played with Francesco in the final round last year, how much did that help?
EDOARDO MOLINARI: That was very special. Obviously I think it was a little bit of a help because I had someone to talk to any time I wanted to. Francesco and I are very close to each other. We have a great relationship, and every time we play together, it's always good fun.
So I think it was a little bit of a help both at Loch Lomond and Gleneagles.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Many thanks for joining us, good luck with your defence.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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