Johnnie Walker Championship: Francesco Molinari happy to be back at Gleneagles
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: August 22, 2013 9:57pm
Francesco Molinari: Happy memories of Gleneagles
Francesco Molinari is hoping for a happy return to a good hunting ground for him at Gleneagles - and make a statement to Paul McGinley about his desire to be involved in the Ryder Cup next year.
The Italian has played his part in the last two successful Ryder Cup teams, playing with his brother Edoardo at Celtic Manor in 2010 and then also playing in the final match against Tiger Woods last year.
Martin Kaymer holed the putt that retained the Ryder Cup at Medinah but Molinari also played his part in winning the event outright with his half against Woods - and he is desperate to be involved again next year.
It may be 13 months to go until McGinley leads Europe into battle, but it will be on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles which hosts this week's Johnnie Walker Championship - in the last event to be held there before the big one.
With that in mind, Molinari is aware that playing well this week will leave an impression on McGinley should he need a captain's pick to make the 2014 European team.
"Obviously I wish to be here and I hope to be here next year," Molinari said. "It's going to be special playing The Ryder Cup at the home nation of golf - I'm sure the crowds will be fantastic.
"I managed to qualify automatically the last two times, so I'm hoping and I'm planning to do the same, and then we'll see. If things don't go according to the plan, we'll see next year who the Captain picks, but it's nice to know that I have a good record on this track."
McGinley watching on at Gleneagles
If course form is anything to go by, Molinari would be near the top of the list for wildcards should he need one, as he has played at the track since he was a teenager.
He has four Top 10s in seven appearances at Gleneagles, and was third when brother Edoardo won to help claim a selection to the 2010 Ryder Cup team.
"I always enjoy coming back here," he added. "We came on holiday a couple of times with Edoardo and my parents when we were younger, so it's always nice to be back here, it feels almost like home; I'm looking forward to the week.
"We just went around Scotland playing golf, and obviously played here, so it feels a bit more familiar when you've gone to a place not during the tournament week.
"It suits my eye. I think it's usually quite windy here and I enjoy the challenge of playing in the wind.
"Having played well in the past just builds your confidence, so every time I get back here, I know it's a place where I can do well and I look forward to being out on the course."