Francesco Molinari is California Dreaming.
The Italian-born Molinari announced on Twitter that he plans to move his family’s residence from London, where he has lived for the past 11 years, to the U.S., where he has played most of his golf since 2015, and specifically to the Golden State.
Molinari and wife Valentina, and kids, Tommaso and Emma, are expected to move ahead of the PGA Championship, which he hinted would be his first tournament since the PGA Tour resumption in June.
“This forced break gave a chance to sit back and think about many things. It mostly made me think about the future and what I want to achieve in the coming years, from a professional point of view but mostly from a family standpoint,” he wrote. “This is why we’ve decided to leave London and the U.K. after 11 happy, intense, satisfying and consuming years. The next chapter of our life is going to be in California, where we hope to be safe, happy and to spend more time together as a family. This is what’s keeping me busy now and away from tournament golf.”
Molinari, 37, won the 2018 British Open, but has been mired in a slump since winning the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and squandering the lead at the 2019 Masters on the back nine on Sunday when he hit into the water on both Nos. 12 and 15. He has dropped to No. 37 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and withdrew from his title defense at the Arnold Palmer Invitational citing a back injury. He did compete in the opening round of the Players before it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news of his impending move came as a bit of a shock to his European Ryder Cup teammate, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who tweeted several crying emojis and wrote, “but you said you’d never leave me!!!!” Their partnership in the 2018 Ryder Cup, which earned the nickname “Moli-Wood,” led the European side to victory thanks to a 4-0 mark as a tandem.