Molinari says he is cheering on Fleetwood at Royal Portrush and there will be a big party next week if he wins


Molinari: “A Matter Of Time” Before Fleetwood Wins Major

Francesco Molinari’s Open Championship defence has gone fairly well at Royal Portrush this week, with the Italian making the cut in Northern Ireland.

Molinari won’t be winning the Claret Jug in back-to-back years but someone in with a great shout is his good friend and Ryder Cup teammate Tommy Fleetwood.

Fleetwood plays in the penultimate group in the third round at Portrush and was just one back after 36 holes.

Molinari says he’ll be cheering the Englishman on this weekend.

“It would make a good story for you guys to have the two of us, one next to each other, on the Claret Jug.

“Yeah, he’s a friend and I’ll cheer him on and hopefully he can get it done. There’s still a long way. But he’s there with a chance.

“If it’s not this week, I think it’s coming pretty soon.”

Molinari was asked about what it is that gives Tommy a chance for Open Championship glory.

“Just the way he plays. He’s a very talented player. He’s still very young. And again, talking about expectations, I think he needs to wait for his time and it will come for sure.

“The way he plays and the way he handles himself, it’s just a matter of time.

“I hope for him it would be this week. It would be great to, like I said, to have his name next to mine on the Claret Jug and we can have a big party next week.”

Related: Where does Rory McIlroy go after Royal Portrush Open heartbreak?

Francesco Molinari is two over par after 54 holes and shot a one over par 72 in Saturday’s third round.

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