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Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Saturday, 10 July 2010 18:59 UK

Molinari brothers impress at Scottish Open

Barclays Scottish Open, Loch Lomond, 8-11 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Radio Scotland, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full coverage details

Edoardo and Francesco Molinari
Edoardo (left) and Francesco had impressive third rounds at Loch Lomond

By Colin Moffat
BBC Scotland at Loch Lomond

There have been many instances of famous sporting brothers through the years but no siblings have ever played together in the Ryder Cup.

That could change this year if Italy's Molinari brothers continue the sparkling form they are showing at the Scottish Open.

The pair will go out together in Sunday's final group as they vie for the £500,000 first prize on offer at Loch Lomond.

Edoardo shot a fabulous 63 - the lowest score of the week by two - to lead the tournament, while Francesco lies in a tie for third place.

At 15 under par - the lowest 54-hole score ever at Loch Lomond, the older brother is one ahead of Darren Clarke, with Francesco seven shots adrift.

"I just hope Francesco shoots a few birdies early on to get in the mix and make it a great day," said Edoardo, who enjoyed a see-saw battle with overnight leader Clarke, overhauling a three-shot deficit to edge in front.

"I didn't expect to be in the Ryder Cup at the beginning of the year and I don't expect to be in the Ryder Cup now," he added, when asked if the prospect of qualifying would add to any final round nerves.

Molinari delights in Scottish Open lead

But a win for the 29-year-old would very much catapult him into contention for a place in Colin Montgomerie's side for the biennial battle with the US at Celtic Manor in October.

Francesco, 21 months the junior, added a very tidy round of 68, with the only blemish coming at the final hole as the heavens opened with heavy rain.

Already eighth on the European points list, he occupies an automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup.

"It will be great to be in the last match together," enthused Francesco, who finished second in the French Open last week.

"It will be fun and we are used to playing with each other.

"We practice hard to be in contention and if I don't win, my second favourite has a chance."

The brothers are side by side in the current Ryder Cup world points list at 11th and 12th.

However, even with a win here, former US Amateur champion Edoardo needs a strong finish to the season to clinch an automatic spot.

With competition for places so fierce, a host of big names will be dependent on a captain's pick for a place at Celtic Manor.

Edoardo does not seem like a likely contender for such an avenue.

We are very close. Our family must be very proud. I just hope they enjoy Sunday

Francesco Molinari

But the brothers combined to great effect last November to earn Italy's first-ever win at the World Cup of Golf in China and that could influence Montgomerie's thinking.

"We are very close," said Edoardo, who insisted he could not remember the last time the brothers fell out.

"Our family must be very proud. I just hope they enjoy Sunday.

"I've been putting well and I've been consistent all season. I've only missed a couple of cuts and I've been close a couple of times.

"I'm not going to think about winning and if Francesco shoots 60 I'll be very happy."

The older brother took inspiration from a visit to Scotland last year when he finished runner-up in Aviemore on his way to winning the Challenge Tour with record earnings, and regaining full European Tour playing rights.

He has a chance to carry on that good relationship with Scotland on Sunday and at the Open at St Andrews next week.

Back-to-back good showings would most definitely put the affable duo within reach of historic Ryder Cup debuts.

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see also
Molinari dazzles at Scottish Open
10 Jul 10 |  Golf
Mickelson rankings gloom
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Gallacher happy to stay in touch
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Ishikawa mania comes to Scotland
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Gallacher in rude health
08 Jul 10 |  Golf

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