VIRGINIA WATER, England – The PGA Tour may have ended its season last month at the Tour Championship, but for the international players who split time between the United States and Europe, the year is far from over.
On Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship, Francesco Molinari explained that he still has a third of his schedule to play before the end of the year, a list that includes stops in Italy, China, Turkey, Dubai, Hong Kong and Napa, Calif.
The Italian said he plans to return to the United States for next week’s Safeway Open out of necessity.
“One of the issues I find with the schedule and with playing two tours, obviously you don't want to start in the States in January having not played in any events,” Molinari said. “It's trying to fit one or two U.S. events between now and the end of the year.”
The challenge for Molinari is a familiar one for many of the game’s top players. This year’s condensed schedule on the PGA Tour forced many to play more than they normally would in the summer, and as Molinari has learned, the fall can be just as hectic.
“You learn as you go, really,” said Molinari, who is the defending champion this week at Wentworth. “None of us had any previous experiences on a schedule this compact and this tight. It's learning as you go and then trying to do a better job next year.”