Golf-Molinaris hope World Cup triumph will boost Italian game
SHENZHEN, China |
SHENZHEN, China Nov 29 (Reuters) - The Molinari brothers are confident their triumph at the 55th World Cup on Sunday will boost the game in Italy but they know golf is not going to overtake soccer in the popularity stakes any time soon.
The siblings shot a final round four-under-par 68, their worst score of the week, to beat strong Ireland and Sweden teams at Mission Hills and win Italy the John Jay Hopkins trophy for the first time.
"It's not going to be easy to overtake football, but I think (our win) is going to be big obviously because any World Cup in any sport is really big," said Francesco.
"Hopefully the game is growing a bit more now ... and I think it will definitely help to grow the number of golfers."
The victory in their third World Cup together capped a successful year for both brothers.
The 27-year-old Francesco had seven top 10 finishes on the European Tour and broke into the world top 50 for the first time.
Former U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo claimed three titles on Europe's junior circuit to become Challenger Tour champion and won the $2.5 million Dunlop Phoenix in Japan last week.
Costantino Rocca, who racked up five European Tour wins and finished second at the 1995 British Open, remains their country's most successful player.
"Probably Costantino almost winning the Open and winning the Ryder Cup, it's maybe a bit higher up than us," said the 2006 Italian Open champion Francesco.
"But I think we are just below that and it feels amazing."
Rocca helped Europe to Ryder Cup victories in 1995 and 1997 and after showing what a great partnership they made this week the brothers do harbour faint hopes of making Colin Montgomerie's team for Celtic Manor next year.
"I think it's pretty much for both of us to keep improving the world rankings and the European rankings and maybe have a little thought on the Ryder Cup," Francesco said. "But it's going to be really, really hard to make the team."
(Editing by Kevin Fylan. To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
((email@example.com; +8610 6627 1282; Reuters messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org. For the new Reuters sports blog Left Field: blogs.reuters.com/sport/))
Please double click on the newslink below:
[LEN-GOLF] for more golf news
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this