Molinari 'more settled' heading into PGA Championship

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May 13, 2022; McKinney, Texas, USA; Francesco Molinari plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

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May 18 (Reuters) - Former British Open champion Francesco Molinari understands the ebbs and flows of the game as well as anyone and the Italian said on Wednesday ahead of this week's PGA Championship that he may finally be poised for another upswing.

Molinari has one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season but enters the year's second major coming off a share of 17th place at last week's AT&T Byron Nelson and feels his game from tee to green is more consistent than it has been in some time.

"It takes time to get the confidence back," Molinari, who won the 2018 British Open, told reporters.

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"Last week was probably the best ball-striking of the year for me ... obviously it's only a couple of days. It's still early days. But hopefully it's a good sign for things to come."

Since his near-miss at the 2019 Masters, where he led by two shots with seven holes to play, Molinari has endured a run of mostly inconsistent results.

But after relocating his family to California in 2020 and switching to a new swing coach, Molinari is finally seeing signs of progress even if his results do not yet reflect that.

"I'm still, I think, working my way through the changes," said Molinari. "I'm now starting to feel more settled in the new life, in the new reality, and hopefully I can focus more on golf and get back to playing some good golf."

While Molinari is keeping his expectations in check going into Thursday's opening round at Southern Hills, the Italian is still eager to do what is needed to take another step in the right direction.

"Obviously I'm coming from a few months of not great golf, so it's nice to see some signs of improvement. I definitely feel like I'm moving, trending in the right direction," said Molinari.

"We'll see. Sometimes these tournaments I think it's almost better to show up not with great expectations and just play and then see what happens day by day."

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Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Toby Davis

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