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Francesco Molinari
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Europe

The Open – What did we learn?

The 147th Open Championship will certainly have boosted Europe’s hopes for a victory at Le Golf National come the end of September. 

Francesco Molinari, who has been in fine form this season pulled of a quite astounding victory in which he didn’t drop a single shot over the last 36 holes – some feat around Carnoustie Golf Links. 

This win made him the first Italian to win a Major Championship and what a year the two time Ryder Cup player is having. 

As well as his Open triumph, Molinari won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour and the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour. 

Combined for his three weekend rounds at these events, the 35-year old made just the one bogey proving just how steady his golf game is. He also joined Rory McIlroy as the only player to win the BMW PGA and The Open in the same season, an achievement McIlroy accomplished in 2014. 

Speaking of the Northern Irishman, he also had a strong week at The Open finishing in a tie for second place with Kevin Kisner, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele. 

His worst finish at The Open is a tie for fifth since his victory in 2014 and you can be sure Thomas Bjorn will be excited by the prospect of McIlroy returning to his dominant form.

Rose reached a personal best World Number Two ranking after he finished in T2. This runner up position is all the more impressive when you consider the Englishman had to birdie the last on Friday to make the cut, showing the kind of steely determination Bjorn will love to have in his team in September. 

That is also Rose’s 18th top ten finish in his last 23 tournaments, which includes four victories. European fans will be hoping the former US Open champion can keep up this form heading to Le Golf National. 

Eddie Pepperell was the only other European to finish inside the top ten at six under par for the week, however Tommy Fleetwood and Thorbjorn Olesen both finished in T12 at three under par. 

For the latter, Olesen, his consistent form will certainly be catching the eye of captain, and fellow countryman, Bjorn, who spent a lot of time with Olesen at The 2016 Ryder Cup.

This is because Bjorn invited Olesen to the 2016 event, where he spent the week as vice-captain and Bjorn’s on-course buggy driver, to expose him to all that the Ryder Cup brings. 

However, The Open proved just how strong the American side will be in September too, with seven golfers from across the pond finishing within the top ten. 

Kisner and Schauffele dropped into a tie for second after both holding a joint lead heading into the final day. 

Meanwhile, the likes of Kevin Chappell, Tony Finau, Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth all finished within the top ten. 

One thing is for sure, The Open has only got European and American golf fans even more excited at the prospect of a mouth-watering clash between golf’s best players at Le Golf National.