Molinari trounces field to capture maiden Tour win
(TPC Potomac, Maryland:) Daylight was a distant second as Francesco Molinari totally demoralised his rivals to capture his maiden PGA Tour title in winning the Quicken Loans National by a massive eight strokes with a tournament record 21-under par total.
The Italian golfing stallion seized an eagle and six birdies in his closing round of an eight-under par 62 in heatwave conditions on the TPC Potomac course in Maryland.
Molinari’s first victory Stateside comes just five weeks after he denied Rory McIlroy to capture the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
And Molinari is also the first Italian since 1947 to win on the world’s most-lucrative world stage.
The 35-year old Italian headed into the final round tied with Mexico’s Abraham Ancer on 13-under par and commencing his round with birdies at the second and sixth holes to move to 15-under par and five clear of Ancer who had bogeyed the first.
Francesco Molinari and tournament host Tiger Woods (Credit PGA Tour)
Molinari then ignited the fireworks at the par-5 10th hole in landing his second shot 48-feet behind the flag and holing the putt for an eagle three.
Birdies then following at the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th holes in one of the clincial displays for some time.
Molinari ended with four pars for his eighth pro career victory and a first prize cheque of $US 1.278m.
WITB: Francesco Molinari
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TaylorMade M4
3 Wood: TaylorMade M3
5 Wood: TaylorMade M4
Irons: TaylorMade P-790 (4), TaylorMade P-750 (5-PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind, TaylorMade Hi-Toe
Putter: Bettinardi Dass BB-0
“Amazing. It still has to sink in,” he said.
“I’ve always said that the next stage of my career would have been to win over here, and to do it in this fashion, it’s even better. I’m very proud the way I played today, probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played and I’ll ever play in the future. I think it’s hard to play better than this.”
“I gained massive momentum with the eagle on 10 as it was a great putt there, great second shot 11, and yeah, from there it was just kind of autopilot. But it’s not easy, even when you have a large lead, to keep pushing and keep going at flags and keep making the putts.”
Tournament host, Tiger Woods inches closer to a long-overdue first victory shooting a closing 66 that included six birdies to share fourth place on 11-under par with his next event being the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“I rolled the ball well this week,” he said.
“I did some good work last week and the putter felt good. It felt good to start my ball on the lines again. I’m starting to see it, starting to feel it, and I had the pace pretty much good all week.”
“The putts I missed, I hit a lot of good ones, which I don’t mind because I hadn’t been doing that for a while, the better part of two months.”
“Even my good ones didn’t look very good, so this was nice.”
Marc Leishman topped the Australian field in a tie for 13th place at 7-under following a even-par 70 in the final round.
Cameron Percy finished with a share of 32nd place at 3-under while Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones and Rod Pampling failed to make it to the weekend.