Italian Open
Gardagolf CC, Brescia, Italy 31 May 2018 - 03 Jun 2018
Sunday, 03 June 2018
Day 4 Highlights - Italian Open

Thorbjørn Olesen won the Italian Open after a thrilling final round battle with Francesco Molinari and Lee Slattery.

Needing a par at the last after home favourtie Molinari sent the crowd wild with a birdie from 30 feet, the Dane looked in trouble when he pulled his drive a long way left.

But he made an excellent up and down from a greenside bunker to complete a final round 64 and 22 under par total.

That was one ahead of last week's Wentworth winner Molinari, with overnight leader Slattery third on 20 under.

Olesen had enjoyed only one top-ten finish previously this season and after capturing a fifth European Tour title said: "Unbelievable. Obviously been a little bit of a tough time for me this year. 


"To come into this Rolex Series and to do what I've done is amazing, especially to come from behind and win. I haven't done that in my career so far, so that was very special.

"It was nice to hole that putt on the last and to get that feeling of holing it when it really matters.

"This is exactly what I needed. Well, it's always what we need but right now for me it's great."

One behind playing partner Slattery at the start of the day, Olesen wasted little time making his move with a birdie from 12 feet, with Molinari in the group ahead converting from ten feet on the same hole.

Birdies on the fifth and seventh kept Olesen in the upper echelons of a crowded leaderboard heading into the back nine.

Further gains from 20 feet on the 12th and tap-in distance at the next saw the 28 year old pull clear but Molinari kept himself within one by birdieing the 14th from 20 feet.

Slattery's challenge appeared to be over when he bogeyed the 14th and Molinari made light work of the par five 15th to catch Olesen at the head of the pack.

But the final pairing produced tremendous drama on the same hole. Olesen drove into trees and had to lay up with his third to 20 feet, while Slattery found the front of the green in two.

The 39 year old Englishman then drained a 30 foot eagle effort to be only one back but that margin soon doubled as Olesen followed him in for birdie.

Molinari birdied the 16th from 20 feet but gave the shot back with a bogey at the next after tangling with a greenside bunker, and when Olesen birdied the penultimate hole from eight feet it sent him two clear with one to play.

A wayward drive threw the result into doubt and when Molinari rolled in a 30 footer to huge roars from the Brescia crowd for a closing 65 a play-off looked likely, but Olesen had other ideas.

Slattery signed for a 67, with Rafa Cabrera Bello's 66 enough for fourth on 18 under. Ryder Cup vice captains Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell rolled back the years with rounds of 63 and 64 respectively to share fifth with Andy Sullivan.



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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-22
2MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-21
T5MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-17

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