Francesco Molinari played Ryder Cup with back injury: ‘I couldn’t do my shoelaces’

Francesco Molinari not only became the first European to go 5-0 at a Ryder Cup two weeks ago at Le Golf National. He did so while battling a back injury.

While speaking to the press Wednesday at the British Masters, Molinari said the back injury popped up on Saturday morning before his four-ball match alongside Tommy Fleetwood. He decided, however, not to tell European captain Thomas Bjorn.

“At that stage it wasn’t enough to really compromise my golf, so I just started taking some anti-inflammatories,” said Molinari, who went 4-0 when paired with Fleetwood in Paris. (The two are grouped together for the first two rounds at Walton Heath.)

“It’s a week that you’re sort of pumped up with adrenaline, anyway, that you could probably play on one leg.”

Molinari blamed the injury on a busy playing schedule that saw him make eight starts in 12 weeks. That stretch included his British Open victory at Carnoustie and ended with the Europeans’ victory at the Ryder Cup.

“On Monday (after the Ryder Cup), I couldn’t do my shoelaces,” Molinari said. “I’m not a kid like Tommy. I need to manage my energies and my body.”

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