Molinari looking to take final step in Portgual

Molinari looking to take final step in Portgual
Italian Francesco Molinari is hoping consecutive second-place finishes in the last two Portugal Masters will help him go one better this weekend.

The 28-year-old finished two shots behind Lee Westwood in 2009 and lost by the same margin to Richard Green last year.

Now, Molinari is convinced that experience will give him the confidence he needs to claim the trophy and secure a fifth win as a professional.

"Two years in a row I have finished runner-up so I am hopeful of another good week here," he said. "I'm hoping to maybe finish one better than the last few years and win it."

Of the Vilamoura course, he remarked: "I think if you get it going and you are confident you can go really low there. But at the same time it is not that easy to make par at some of the holes. It is just one of those golf courses that is really fair and whoever plays best wins at the end of the week."

Hoping to stop the Turin-born player are three of the four previous winners at the Algarve resort.

Steve Webster, victor in the inaugural contest in 2007, is in the field, alongside 2008 champion Alvaro Quiros and Green.

Thomas Bjorn is also in Portugal hoping he can claim a fourth tour title of the year, as are Englishman Simon Dyson and Sweden's Alexander Noren.

Major winners Padraig Harrington, John Daly, Jose Maria Olazabal, Paul Lawrie and Martin Kaymer are all in the mix as well.

Over in the US, Paul Casey will be determined to avoid a repeat of his poor finish at the Open at this weekend's McGladrey Classic.

The Englishman faded badly last week after being firmly in contention on the final day and he will be desperate not to do the same at the Seaside Course.

Meanwhile, golf's governing body has confirmed that The Open will be held at St Andrews in 2015.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: "St Andrews has proved time and again that it is perfectly equipped to host The Open and I am certain we will yet again see a worthy winner lift the claret jug.

"Players, spectators and officials alike will welcome a return to the game's spiritual home and I fully expect that we will witness another thrilling championship."

The competition will take place between 16 and 19 July 2015. ADNFCR-1532-ID-800756240-ADNFCR

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