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Open champion Molinari will use tricks of trade


In swing: Francesco Molinari in Monday’s practice round
In swing: Francesco Molinari in Monday’s practice round

By Phil Casey

Francesco Molinari may view himself as "no spring chicken" but the Open champion hopes to use a few old tricks to contend for a second major title in the 83rd Masters.

Molinari's best finish at Augusta National was a tie for 19th in 2012 but the Italian comes into the event on the back of a stellar 12 months.

The 36-year-old has won four times since last year's Masters, including the Open Championship at Carnoustie, while he also became the first European player to earn a perfect 5-0 record in the Ryder Cup in Paris.

"What has let me down in the past here is on and around the greens," Molinari said.

"It's a very tough test because of the speed and undulations, so I hope to show the progress I've made in the last few months and get a good performance in this week. I can see some things now I've improved in the putting that I wasn't doing well in the past that would be costly around here.

"It's a course most guys need to play a few times to learn a few tricks. Hopefully, I can use the experience from the last few years this week.

"There's been a lot of work going on in the last few years and sometimes it doesn't pay off straight away. It's taken a while, but obviously now success is coming quite often and that's a nice feeling.

"So I'll try to keep working to keep the success coming and win as many tournaments as I can. You know, I'm not a spring chicken any more, so I need to make the most of it."

Molinari's first experience of Augusta National was as a caddie for his brother in 2006 after Edoardo qualified by virtue of winning the US Amateur title the year before.

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