Open champion Francesco Molinari remained unflappable on his way to victory at Carnoustie, but the Italian insists the Ryder Cup brings far more pressure than any major.
A member of Europe's successful teams in 2010 and 2012, Molinari is back for a third Ryder Cup appearance having enjoyed the best year of his career by far.
Although he kept his cool superbly in the company of Tiger Woods when winning a first major title in July, Molinari says he will be far more nervous when the action gets under way at Le Golf National on Friday.
Asked how the pressure of trying to win a major compares to representing Europe against the United States, he replied: "You won't believe me, but it's nowhere near.
"Carnoustie was nowhere near Medinah [the venue for his last Ryder Cup appearance in 2012]. It's hard to believe, but it's probably because you play for a team, you play for a continent in our case, and you know about the tradition and what players have done in the past.
"I was a lot calmer at Carnoustie than I will be from Friday morning onwards."
World number five Molinari can nevertheless draw on his experiences alongside Woods - and the circus that surrounds the 14-time major champion - at this year's Open.
"I think probably the biggest challenge was when the draw came out," the 35-year-old explained as he reflected on his success at Carnoustie.
"If I'm completely honest, on the Saturday night, I wasn't exactly hoping to be paired with Tiger, not because I don't like to play with him but because of the hype. You know with him being in contention in a major, it's going to be noisy and it's going to be a lot of people.
"So the most challenging part was probably that moment when the draw came out, but then I quickly managed to think, 'Whatever; I don't really care - I'm here to do a job, and they [the crowd] can't really influence how I do my job'.
"So, for me, that's going to be the same this week. Obviously the crowd is going to be on our side, but I think each one of us needs to really focus on the job in hand and focus on doing the things that make them successful, and that will help us to be a successful team.
"It's the highest adrenaline and the highest pressure you're ever going to feel on a golf course. And I think the biggest thing is you need to deal with it the way you deal with it normally. There's no point in trying to be something that you're not. I'll be the same me that I've always been."
24 de marzo 2019
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