Double helping of Molinari as brothers both shoot well at Open

Eduardo and Francesco Molinari, pictured in 2012.
Eduardo and Francesco Molinari, pictured in 2012.

You want vicious, show-no-weakness-show-no-mercy golf competition? Forget the back nine on Sunday at a major. Just check out any pair of brothers trying to outdo each other at any course on earth. Love can be brutal.

At the moment, there are no brothers on earth playing better golf together than the Molinaris. Edoardo and Francesco of Italy have put together matching 68s at the Open Championship, and stand just two strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy.

Edoardo, 32, teed off first, birdieing the first two holes and adding more later in the round. Francesco, 31, needed an eagle on 18 to match his brother's four-under mark. Afterward, Francesco admitted he'd been keeping an eye out for big bro.

"My brother was two or three groups in front and I kept an eye on him. He had a faster start so I had to catch up," Francesco said. "I was just happy to post a good score and it's put me in a good position hopefully."

Edoardo has had a difficult few years since his high-water mark of 2010, when he made the European Ryder Cup team and ranked as high as 14th in the world, suffering through two wrist operations. Even so, he pronounced Thursday an important day in his progress.

"Just to get in a major is the first step," Edoardo said. "I was very happy a few weeks ago in Ireland when I got my spot here because it's less than a year after surgery. So that's quite a quick recovery. And to shoot a good number today and be in good position for the last three rounds, it's another step in the right direction."

The two have been paired together in the last round of a tournament Sunday on several occasions, and so far, Edoardo has won two of those. "I need to improve my record when I'm playing with him," Francesco said, "but there's a lot of golf to go."

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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