London — Francesco Molinari said the 2019 Open will be “extra special” as he prepares to try and defend the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush, the first time the tournament has been played on Northern Irish soil for 68 years.

Molinari, who emerged from a thrilling final day at Carnoustie a year ago to become the first Italian to win a Major, will begin his quest alongside American Bryson DeChambeau and Australian Adam Scott.

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