Magnificent Molinari wins first Major at The Open
Francesco Molinari put on a Nick Faldo-esque performance in the final round of The Open at Carnoustie Golf Links, to win by two strokes from fellow Europeans Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose and the American duo of Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
As well as picking up his first Major title and becoming the first Italian golfer to do so, Molinari once again jumps to the top of the Ryder Cup European Points List and to World Number Six on the Official World Golf Ranking.
A double bogey on the 17th in round two would be the last time Molinari would drop a shot around one of The Open rota’s toughest tracks, making his victory all the more impressive.
With the leaders starting three shots ahead, the BMW PGA champion remained patient and opened up with 13 straight pars.
Suddenly, with a birdie at the par 5 14th hole, Molinari would find himself atop the leaderboard.
A closing birdie at the 18th would be enough to see his name engraved on the Claret Jug and break the spell of American Major winners – five in a row previous to Molinari’s win.
For Rose, he kept up his stellar form this season with a T2 finish at Carnoustie.
This finish was even more remarkable when you consider the Englishman only just made the cut with a closing birdie on Friday.
McIlroy also recaptured some of the form that saw him become World Number One. He joined Rose at -6 and has finished no worse than T5 in his last four appearances at The Open – including a win in 2014.
Eddie Pepperell kept up his form of late with a T6 finish after a final round of 67. Thorbjørn Olesen remains on the bubble despite his T12 finish, where he was also joined by European Number One Tommy Fleetwood.
This excellent display by Molinari all but secures his place on Team Europe, with just one more Major, one World Golf Championship and five European Tour events left before the team is complete.