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Brent Kelley

Molinaris Not the First Brothers to Play Ryder Cup Together

By August 29, 2010

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Italy's Molinari brothers are heading to the Ryder Cup. Now they just have to live up to Edoardo's promise. Early in the week of the last European qualifying event, the Johnnie Walker Championship, Edoardo guaranteed Team Europe captain Colin Montgomerie that Edoardo and Franceso would go 4-0 in foursomes and fourballs if Monty put them both on the team.

Francesco had already qualified at that point, but Edoardo needed Monty's captain's pick to make the team. All Edoardo did to secure that selection was birdie the final three holes of the Johnnie Walker to win the tournament.

Now the Molinari boys are both on Team Europe.

It's won't be the first time brothers have played Ryder Cup, though. Several sets of brothers have made appearances for either Team USA or Team Europe (and its antecedents, Team Great Britain and Team Great Britain & Ireland).

But have brothers ever played on the same Ryder Cup team? Together, in the same year? Yes, it's happened four times, split between two sets of brothers, and all four times were on the Great Britain side:

• Bernard & Geoffrey Hunt played for Great Britain in 1963
• Charles and Ernest Whitcombe played for Great Britain in 1929 and 1931

And in 1935, three brothers - Charles and Ernest Whitcombe, plus Reg Whitcombe - played for Great Britain.

Francesco and Edoardo Molinari become the third set of brothers to play on the same Ryder Cup team. They won the 2009 World Cup playing as a team, and there's no doubt Monty will give the Molinaris a chance to back up Edoardo's boast.

So have brothers ever before partnered one another in Ryder Cup play? Just once. The Hunts didn't do it in 1963, nor the Whitcombes in 1929 or 1931. But in 1935, Charles and Ernest Whitcombe teamed to defeat Olin Dutra and Ky Laffoon, 1-up, in foursomes.

No American brothers have ever played on the same Ryder Cup team. But in 1981 two brothers-in-law - Jerry Pate and Bruce Lietzke - were on Team USA together. They did not partner one another during the match, however.

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