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Tuesday, June 15, 2010Edoardo And Francesco Molinari

BETH MURRISON: Good afternoon from the 2010 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links. We're honored to have Edoardo and Francesco Molinari from Italy, who are brothers, playing The Open together. It happened two years ago, when Brad and Bart Bryant played, they're both playing Pebble Beach for the first time this week. Both have played in one Open previously. Edoardo was the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion and played at Winged Foot. Francesco played last year at Bethpage.

Can you talk about what it means to be here together playing in The Open and sharing the experience together?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: I think it's very nice to be here together. We have enjoyed the week very much so far. I think it's always a little bit special to play in a Major alongside your brother. And as I said, there's been a great week so far.

BETH MURRISON: Francesco?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: I think it's really a special year for us. We had the first Masters obviously together and that was special and now we are here in a special venue again with Pebble Beach. And it just feels great to be both playing in the Open. It's something probably we dreamt about a long time ago when we were kids. And we're just looking forward to the week.

BETH MURRISON: Can you talk a little bit about your impressions of Pebble Beach, I'm sure you heard a lot about it, can you talk about the course.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: It's obviously always a bit different when you actually see it. And it's playing already really hard and the greens are really, really small and slopey. So I think the course with the irons is going to be very important and obviously short game is going to be one of the keys to score well.

EDOARDO MOLINARI: I think the course is in great shape. It's probably a little bit different from other U.S. Open courses. It's a bit easier off the tee, still very tough around the greens. The greens are very small, as Francesco said. And I think this week is going to be very important to play the irons, because the greens are so small, especially if it's windy they will be very difficult to hit. It's a great venue, it's the first time we've both been here and we really like it.

Q. You mentioned The Masters, how many other Majors have you played together and how competitive are you to check each others scores and see who wins?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: This is the second major we played together. So we only played The Masters and this one. And we are a little bit competitive, but always in a good way. So we always try to help the other and try to play well, obviously to beat your brother, but I think the main goal is to play well and then if your brother happens to be in front of you then so be it.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: I agree with Edoardo. There's obviously a little bit of competition between us, but as there is with any other guy in the field. And at the end of the day you just watch your score and you try to do your best. And then see what your brother is doing and obviously we always hope that our brother is playing well. And it will be great to be both on top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Q. I think I read on the Internet this week that you guys actually played this course as kids about 17 years ago, at least part of it. Is that true and if so, what do you remember about that day?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: It's true that we were here 17 years ago on holiday, but we didn't play the golf course. We were just on holiday with our parents and we were golfers already, so Pebble Beach is one of those places you want to see, but we didn't have the chance to play?

Q. When you first saw some of the fairways that really are right on the cliff over the ocean, what were your first thoughts?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: I think it's a very good idea because it brings the ocean and the cliffs much more into play than before, because I remember watching the Open in 2000, when Tiger won, like on No. 6 he was in the rough on the right between the fairway and the cliffs. And now if you miss it right you're going to end up being in the ocean.

So I think you have to be a bit more careful off the tee, probably. It's much more spectacular, as well, because you end up hitting a lot more shots than before from right next to the ocean.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Yeah, well, I think the same. I mean, it's quite unique to see the fairway almost ending into the water and into the cliffs. I think we played a few links golf courses and golf courses just by the ocean or the sea back in Europe, but this is the first time we see anything like that.

Q. Are you guys rooming together this week, are you staying in the same place?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: We're staying in the same hotel, but obviously two different rooms (laughter).

Q. How close are you guys?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Well, we are brothers, so, you know, we grew up together and we played golf since we were, I don't know, probably six or seven or seven and eight, and we spend a lot of time together on and off the golf course. We travel together a lot, already when we were amateurs.

So we know each other really well and we enjoy the company of each other when we are traveling and when we are playing in tournaments?

Q. I have a couple of questions, one, are you guys following the World Cup?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: Yes, we do.

Q. Did you get to see the game live yesterday and if you did, where did you get to watch it?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: No, we only watched the first half, a little bit of the first half in the players lounge and then we went out to play a practice round in the afternoon. So we only watched like half an hour of the game.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Only the Paraguay, we didn't see golf.

Q. Was that in the back of your mind by the time you finished your practice round, that things would be okay?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Yes, we were texting back home to see if the score was changing.

Q. Ernie Els things it would be a good idea to have the vuvuzelas out here on the practice rounds here at the U.S. Open, do you agree with that?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: It would be fun to play with that noise. It would be something different, for sure.

Q. How much has life changed for you in Italy now that you've become successful and well‑known? What's it like walking down the street in Milan these days?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: Walking on the street in Milan or anywhere we live it's almost the same as before. It can happen that someone recognizes you, but it's very rare.

However, I think especially with the media, the situation has changed a lot since, say, two or three years ago. And we get a lot more attention, a lot more coverage, both in the newspapers and TV. So I think it's getting better. It's still ‑‑ I think golf is still a small sport in Italy, but I think it's changing very quickly in the last couple of years.

Q. You're obviously pretty far from home. Did you bring many people with you, family? Obviously this is a great holiday destination, so did you bring family?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: No, we just have my wife and Edoardo's girlfriend here. Our family came to the Masters in April, so they're taking a break now. They might come in the summer again to a few tournaments. They would like to be with us, but obviously they can't do it all the time.

Q. Are you going to be playing any other tournaments in the United States this year?

EDOARDO MOLINARI: Yeah, I think we're both going to be playing the Bridgestone, the Firestone, the week before the PGA, then the PGA, as well. And I think that's about it until the end of the year?

Q. I know you guys said you're close, because you're brothers. I've got four brothers and there's times I don't want to be as close to them. Do you guys ever get to where, you go play your tournament, I'm going to go play my tournament? Do you ever need a break from each other, because you are around each other so much?

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: No, not really. As I said, we're used to playing together and to travelling together, so, I mean, I don't think we really need breaks. But, you know, the situation now is a bit different as well, because I moved to London so we aren't living in the same place so we don't get to see each other all the time?

BETH MURRISON: Thank you so much for being here with us today. We wish you well this week and enjoy the week at Pebble Beach.

EDOARDO MOLINARI: Thank you.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI: Thank you.

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