Francesco Molinari to focus on U.S. golf circuit next year

LONDON -- Francesco Molinari said he may not play in Europe until he tries to defend his title at The Open in July.

The lure of the U.S. PGA Tour and changes made to the European Tour calendar will combine to leave the London-based 19th-ranked player short of available dates to compete on his home circuit next year.

Molinari, 36, is even struggling to commit to the British Masters in May, despite receiving an invitation from tournament host, close friend and Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood.

"I would like to play the British Masters but it depends probably on the first couple of months of the season," Molinari said. "If I learnt one thing this season, it is to be a bit flexible with the schedule playing two tours.

"With the changes, it is a bit different. Wentworth was always the first for me but now it has moved from May to September, that might be the first regular European Tour event I play," he added in reference to the PGA Championship, another tournament he won in 2018.