SAN DIEGO – Because of travel restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, this week’s U.S. Open is something of a family reunion for the Molinari brothers.
The last time Francesco Molinari and his brother, Edoardo, saw each other was the week before Christmas in 2019, so when both players qualified for this week’s championship they made the most of the opportunity.
“The last year and a half has been very difficult,” Edoardo Molinari said. “That's why I came a day early and I went to visit him Sunday in L.A., where he is now living with the family, and we just had a good time.”
The brothers also played practice rounds together at Torrey Pines on Tuesday and Wednesday and planned to have dinner Thursday, which should lead to some interesting conversations with both players in the hunt following solid starts at the U.S. Open.
Francesco Molinari was tied for second place following a first-round 68 and Edoardo was two shots back.
It’s the first time the two have been in contention at the same event since: “I don't know. He's the statistician. You need to ask him,” Francesco Molinari laughed.
After a brief pause Edoardo Molinari filled in the blanks: “I think we both had a very good start at The Open Championship in 2014, and then I think I finished top 10 and he just missed top 10 in the end,” he said.
Edoardo, the older of the brothers, has a good memory. He tied for seventh at Hoylake and Francesco was T-15.