Francesco Molinari produces moment of magic with hole-in-one to show ultimate clutch gene at US Open

By | June 15, 2024

Francesco Molinari produces moment of magic with hole-in-one to show ultimate clutch gene at US Open

Ryder Cup legend Francesco Molinari needed a hole-in-one to make the weekend at Pinehurst No. 2, and the Italian delivered in a historic moment that will long in the memory

Francesco Molinari needed an ace on the last to stay alive in the U.S. Open

Francesco Molinari struck a sublime hole-in-one on his final hole to make the cut at the U.S. Open in the most dramatic of circumstances.

During Friday’s second round, Molinari carded a single birdie to go with five bogeys through 17 holes. He stepped up to the tee on the par-three ninth needing an ace to make the halfway cut – and the Italian delivered, ensuring he will tee off this weekend at Pinehurst No. 2.

The 41-year-old striped a 7-iron that landed on the green’s left-middle side, where it enjoyed a favourable break and sloped towards the hole before dropping in. The crowd erupted as Molinari shrugged his shoulders in disbelief while playing partners Ryo Ishikawa and Sergio Garcia raised their hands in celebration.

“From where we were standing, it looked like it just carried the bunker, plus the greens are getting firm, so it was the ideal shot,” the 2018 Open Championship winner told reporters. “Then it started tracking, was going to break left to right at the hole.

“We were joking with Serg (Sergio Garcia) and how it looked and on a great line the whole way, but what are the chances really. I don’t even know what to say. Just incredible.”

Molinari guessed it was his seventh ace in his professional career, before adding: “That’s what I was trying to do. It was the last chance to have a chance to play the weekend.”

Molinari’s shot trickled into the hole to sent the crowd wild

Molinari is a Ryder Cup hero having been a part of three winning teams for Europe in 2010, 2012 and 2018. But he was in serious danger of missing the cut this weekend heading into the final hole of his second round.

He sat at seven-over for the week, two shots outside of the projected cut line before he made his incredible and historic hole-in-one. There is no known instance in U.S. Open history of a player making an ace on his last hole to get inside the 36-hole cut number.

Remarkably, the ace was the second of the day on the ninth. In the early wave, Sepp Straka sunk a hole-in-one to elevate his score having shot an eight to open the round, derailing his round although he went on to finish two-over to make the weekend.

Molinari has teed off his third round alongside five-time major champion Brooks Koepka. The boisterous American took issue with media – and Rory McIlroy – before stuttering to a five over finish through two rounds.

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