WATCH: Pro hits a ‘cold top’ on his opening tee shot at Pebble Beach

Francesco Molinari

Francesco Molinari tops his opening shot on Saturday at Pebble Beach.

Paul Casey hit his opening tee shot 245 yards, took a few steps into his third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then turned to his caddie and smiled.

“Do you know Molinari only hit it 70 yards off here,” Casey asked.

An hour after the fact on Saturday, the top was still a topic.  

Francesco Molinari, the winner of the 2018 Open Championship and an eight-time winner worldwide, hit his opening tee shot from the back tee box to just left of the forward tee box.   

“Saw some slippage, and it was, well, it was a cold top,” an announcer said on the PGA Tour Live’s broadcast. 

It was. Molinari hit his tee shot on the 381-yard, par-4 1st hole at Pebble, and he immediately let go of the club with his right hand. Molinari hit it straight. But short. The Tour’s TourCast savagely measured the ball’s apex — 1 foot. 

Molinari slowly lowered his club, slowly bent over to grab his tee and slowly walked off the tee box. The starter then introduced Vincent Whaley, one of Molinari’s playing partners.  

From the forward tee box, Molinari hit his second shot, from 302 yards out, 135 yards to the middle of the fairway. He hit his third shot into the left greenside bunker, hit out and one-putted for a bogey. 

Molinari hit his tee shot on the 2nd hole 253 yards. It reached an apex of 75 feet.   

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at