Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Morelli's in sweet tribute to Open champion Molinari

Daniela Morelli-Kerr with the sprinkle mosaic for the Italian golfer
Daniela Morelli-Kerr with the sprinkle mosaic for the Italian golfer
Francesco Molinari after winning The Open Championship in 2018
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

A famous Italian ice cream shop on the north coast has used dessert toppings to pay tribute to defending Open champion Francesco Molinari.

The larger-than-life mosaic of the 36-year-old was created by Triskill Design on behalf of Morelli's in Portrush.

"We all stood and watched as they made it on Friday afternoon in a garage near the shop," director Daniela Morelli-Kerr explained.

"It took them about six hours, but they had to wait until we closed at 10.30pm to move it in and get it up on the wall."

A lot of glue and over 20kg of coloured sprinkles were needed to recreate the face of the man who in 2018 became the first Italian to win a major tournament.

The sugary masterpiece is sandwiched between two other works which feature The Open Championship logo.

"We wanted to do Francesco because of the Italian connection," Daniela said.

"Everyone is focusing on local golfers, but I thought it was appropriate to immortalise him."

Visitors have been flocking to the shop in order to fix their eyes upon the artwork which spans 4.5m.

"The reaction has been brilliant," said Daniela.

"Everyone wants a photograph and people seem taken aback by it - you need to see it in the flesh to appreciate all the colours."

Staff have been enjoying the hype which has attracted droves of tourists from all around the world.

"There are lots of visitors from the USA and China," said Daniela.

"It creates a nice vibe when everyone is sitting outside enjoying ice cream in the evening."

Australian golfer Adam Scott - who will tee up alongside Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau tomorrow - is the only player who has managed to squeeze in a visit to the famous ice cream parlour.

Unfortunately, the former Masters champion tucked into his tasty treat before the quirky installation was erected.

"He had a waffle cone with mint chocolate chip ice cream," Daniela recalled.

"But a lot of the staff thought 'Scotty the hotty' was rather dishy himself."

The head of marketing is hoping for a few breaks in the cloud over the next few days which might lure other big names into the shop.

"Sadly Francesco doesn't think he will make it in for a treat, but he's hinted that his wife and kids might come," she said.

Earlier this week, Molinari told a press conference he was flattered by the unusual canvas.

"I don't have any plans [to visit it] now, it's a busy week, but my family are coming out later in the week with the kids so they'll be happy to get ice cream," the Italian said.

He then joked that they might be too distracted to even notice what's on the wall.

However, Daniela is just delighted that her favourite player - and one of the favourites on the Dunluce links - is aware of the unique tribute.

"It's unfortunate that he's too busy to come in," she said.

"But it's nice that he knows about it."

Belfast Telegraph


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