CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) - Italy’s Francesco Molinari, one of the hottest players in world golf, simply oozed class as he rattled off half a dozen birdies in a rousing six-under-par 65 at the British Open on Saturday.
The former Ryder Cup player started the day back in the pack but he galloped his way through the field with three front-nine birdies before gaining more strokes at the 10th, 14th and 16th.
“It was the day to be aggressive,” Molinari told reporters after winding up with a six-under three-round tally of 207 at Carnoustie. “There was not a lot of wind, and after the rain yesterday, the course is a little bit softer.
“I had quite a lot of chances that went close by or it could have been even better. But I know tomorrow is going to be a different story.”
The forecast for Sunday’s closing round at the third major of the season is for winds to gust up to 28mph, which would represent the strongest of the week.
“I think it’s going to be really important to adapt quickly to the different conditions,” said Molinari after almost matching the 64 posted by Briton Justin Rose earlier in the day.
“It won’t be a day to be aggressive. It’s more a day to make as many pars as possible.”
Molinari is as adept as anyone at keeping mistakes to a minimum. He is renowned as one of the best players in the game from tee to green, with an inconsistent putter his only weakness.
The world number 15 has two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last five starts, including an eyecatching eight-shot victory at the Quicken Loans National in Maryland earlier this month.
“I’m really happy with where I am at the moment,” said the 35-year-old, who is still seeking his first major win.
Editing by Neville Dalton