Tuesday, 11 December 2018
  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Francesco Molinari has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour in recognition of his historic Open Championship victory in July.

Molinari entered the record books when he lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie, finishing two shots clear of the field to become the first Italian to win a Major Championship. It was his second victory of 2018 following the BMW PGA Championship in May – his first Rolex Series title – and the 36 year old went on to win The Race to Dubai and become the first European to win five points out of five in a Ryder Cup.

He was presented with Honorary Life Membership by European Tour Chairman David Williams in London yesterday at a ceremony where he also received the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year award.

Molinari is the 54th player, and first Italian, to receive the prestigious commendation, which comes 14 years after he turned professional and 12 after his first win, the 2006 Telecom Italia Open. In total, the Italian has won six times on the European Tour, including his Major victory, in addition to three Ryder Cups.

Molinari said: “It’s another incredibly special moment for me. You just have to look at the names of the players who have received the honour in the past. It is something you dream of.

“I’m very proud to receive this. I’ve been a member of the European Tour since the start of my career and it’s been a very long journey. I’m very proud of myself and for everyone who has worked with me throughout my career.

“It’s something when I stop playing and look back on my career, it’s going to be one of the proudest moments of my career.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Francesco is a wonderful ambassador for the European Tour and he thoroughly deserves this award.

“It recognises his historic achievement in becoming Italy’s first Major Champion and caps off a tremendous year for him.”

Molinari joins an illustrious list of Honorary Life Members which began in 1978 with John Jacobs, the founding father of the European Tour.

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