Molinari lands Barclays Scottish Open

7/11/2010 5:47:39 PM
Edoardo Molinari  (Getty Images)
Edoardo Molinari (Getty Images)

Italian Edoardo Molinari joined his brother Francesco as a European Tour winner at The Barclays Scottish Open.

With Francesco looking on all the way - he finished joint fourth - the 29 year old from Turin won his duel with Darren Clarke to become champion at Loch Lomond.

Edoardo, one ahead after his dazzling third round 63, closed with a 74 in the much tougher conditions and, with a 12 under par total of 272, took the €601,599 first prize by three.

The compensation for runner-up Clarke was that, with Molinari already exempt for this coming week's Open Championship, he took the one St Andrews spot up for grabs.

The 41 year old was always fighting an uphill battle from the moment he tried to play his ball out of the mud and water by the third green but needed three attempts at it and ran up a double-bogey seven.

No brothers have played together in The Ryder Cup since Bernard and Geoffrey Hunt in 1963, back in the days when it was just Great Britain against America.

But Francesco, who a week ago lost a play-off for the Alstom Open de France to Miguel Angel Jiménez, moves up from eighth to fifth in the points race.

And winner Edoardo, who first hit the headlines by winning the US Amateur Championship title five years ago, is up from 11th to sixth on the world list from which the first four members of Colin Montgomerie's Europe Team will come.

With Francesco having won the 2006 Italian Open, Edoardo's victory makes them the third brothers to lift European Tour titles - and this just eight months after they combined to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.

Seve and Manuel Ballesteros did it and so did their fellow Spaniards Antonio and German Garrido.

Molinari was five clear after five holes, bogeyed the next two but then regained that advantage when Clarke dropped a shot on the short 11th and he made a 15 foot birdie putt three holes later.

Five ahead with four to play looked a done deal, but a mishit drive down the 415 yard 15th led to a double-bogey six.

The gap then came down to two when Clarke made a five foot birdie putt on the short 17th, but he was the one to bogey the last.

By then, though, he knew he had edged The Open place from France's Raphael Jacquelin, who came through for third with a joint best-of-the-day 68.

Molinari, back ahead of his brother on the Official World Golf Ranking now, said: "This is very special. On Tuesday we were talking about the fact that we had never played well in the same week and finally it's happened.

"Now I hope Francesco wins next week!

"I was very nervous to be honest. The last few holes are very difficult and Darren hit a great shot on 17. My five iron there was probably my best shot and the drive on 18 was great."

Clarke said: "My second to the third was five feet from being good, but I ended up making seven and was on the back foot.

"I told myself to just keep going and just wait for something to turn around, but I couldn't get close enough. I didn't play well enough.

"The Open is a consolation prize, but if somebody had said at the start of the week that I would finish second I think I would have taken it.

"Hopefully I can reproduce more of my first three rounds than the last one."