Francesco Molinari will have a lot more attention on his performance at the WGC-Bridgestone after flying under the radar en route to his Open Championship victory.
Molinari’s stellar form was somewhat overlooked entering the week at Carnoustie and still midway through Sunday’s final round, eyes were on his playing partner Tiger Woods as the 14-time Major winner moved to the top of the leaderboard.
The 35-year-old Italian was faultless as he played his way past Woods before a birdie at the last sealed his first Major win ahead of Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
That win was followed by a holiday before this week’s test; one mental, the other physical.
‘We planned the holiday for last week, obviously before knowing what was going to happen but it worked out well,’ said the world number six.
‘I got a lot of rest last week. Now it’s time to get working again.
‘I’ve started working the last few days there hitting balls and just trying to get ready for this week.
‘So yeah, we’ll see. I know it’s going to be a challenge, obviously now, to keep what I have going and I’ll see how well I can deal with that.
‘Just a lot of work from the guys around me [has got me here], to be honest. They probably believed already, before the recent results, they believed in me more than I ever did.
‘It’s taken a long time for them to keep telling me and to help me achieve things that were shown to myself that I was that kind of player.
‘So I think for me personally, the key’s always been results, but also, you know, when you go out on the course and you’re playing with some of the best players in the world, you confront yourself with them.
‘And I think a few years back, obviously, I was competing against them, but I always felt like they had something that I didn’t have, and now it feels like I can play with them and, you know, I don’t feel intimidated in any way.’