Metronomic Molinari should get Ryder pick: Rocca

Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:37am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

COVENTRY, England (Reuters) - Europe captain Darren Clarke should select Francesco Molinari as one of his three wildcard choices for the Ryder Cup because of his almost metronomic driving accuracy, according to Costantino Rocca.

Rocca, who featured in the biennial team event in 1993, 1995 and 1997, believes fellow Italian Molinari would be a dream match play partner for any of the European players when the holders take on the United States at Hazeltine, Minnesota in September.

"If I was the captain I would give Francesco a wildcard pick," the burly 59-year-old told Reuters in an interview while competing in this week's Farmfoods British Par-3 Championship at Nailcote Hall near Coventry.

"He's so consistent off the tee. He's played a lot in America now, he's improved his putting, his chipping and his bunker shots a lot," he added.

"Francesco never misses a drive, his irons have always been good too and in match play that's so important. When you go to America the competition is different from Italy, England, Europe, it's much stronger and you learn a lot.

"He would be a good partner because he would give anyone he plays with extra confidence," Rocca said of world number 57 Molinari who appeared in the Ryder Cup in 2010 and 2012 before missing out two years ago.

Rocca played alongside twice U.S. Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal in the 1997 edition at Valderrama, Spain and the pair won two of their three matches.

The Italian said their strategy was to always find the fairway off the tee, especially in alternate-shot foursomes.   Continued...

Jul 16, 2016;  Troon, Ayrshire, SCT; Francesco Molinari (ITA) tees off at the 3rd during the third round of the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports