A closer look at the Molinaris

Edoardo Molinari, right, and Francesco Molinari of Italy celebrate after winning the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup.

Edoardo Molinari, right, and Francesco Molinari of Italy celebrate after winning the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup.

Until Sunday, the only World Cup that Italy was accustomed to winning was on the soccer pitch. Italy’s Edoardo and Francesco Molinari won the golfing version Sunday, and are now the most famous Italian brothers to hit the fairway since Nintendo released Mario Golf.

The World Cup capped strong seasons for both siblings.

Edoardo, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champ, had had a relatively quiet pro career until this year. He came to the World Cup as one of the hottest players on the planet, though, with three victories, a runner-up and a T-7 in his past five starts.

Last week, he beat Robert Karlsson in a playoff to win the prestigious Dunlop Phoenix in Japan.

Edoardo set a Challenge Tour earnings record this season and will return to the European Tour in 2010. He is No. 73 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and climbed 566 spots this year to No. 87 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Francesco didn’t win in 2009, but had eight top-10s (including his last three starts) and impressive showings in the final three majors – T-27 at the U.S. Open, T-13 at the British Open and T-10 at the PGA. He also finished T-10 at his first WGC, the HSBC Champions.

He finished 14th in the final Race to Dubai standings, is No. 37 in the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 23 in the Golfweek rankings.

Could they team up at the 2010 Ryder Cup? Possible, but probably a long shot.

If the team was selected today, Francesco would make it off of the European Points list.

Edoardo has work to do. He is seventh on the World Points list (the top four make the team).

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