Molinari magic seals dramatic victory

8/29/2010 5:11:03 PM
Edoardo Molinari  (Getty Images)
Edoardo Molinari (Getty Images)

Edoardo Molinari birdied the last three holes to win the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. 

The 29 year old Italian was two behind Australian Brett Rumford with three holes to play.

He then two-putted the long 16th, sank a curling 30 footer at the 194 yard 17th and then hit a chip to within 18 inches of the final hole.

“Playing on 16, I thought I was one behind, and I had two par fives to play and thought that I still had a chance to win the tournament if I make two birdies in the last three,” said Molinari.

“So I was playing very well and I knew I could do it and when I got on to the 16th tee and hit a great second shot   I thought I had a great possibility.

“I knew I had to do two birdies on the last three at least to tie him and I had a big putt on 16, I think that was very important. And I hit it safely on the green on 17, and just before I hit the putt, Colin, my caddie told me I was owed a putt, because I hit a lot of good putts today that didn't go in, and he was right, because it went right in the divot and it was a difficult putt, as well.

“And then playing the last, I played a nice second shot, and made a great chip, again. Colin, he is the winner this week, not me, because we spent probably more time this week on the chipping than in the last six months. I started working with him three tournaments ago, at Bridgestone in the States, and I think he's the best caddie.”

Molinari, who won the Barclays Scottish Open and with his brother Francesco gave Italy their first-ever Omega Mission Hills World Cup victory last year, was then handed one of Captain Colin Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup wildcards.

Molinari's latest triumph, which left him an agonising one point short of gaining automatic selection off the world points list, came with a one under par 71 in the windy conditions.

In the past year the Turin golfer has climbed from The Challenge Tour into the top 20 of The Official World Golf Ranking, took the €282,773 first prize with a ten under par total of 278.

Rumford was second and then two shots further back were Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Molinari's brother, who had been the overnight leader and was still in with a chance until he closed with a bogey six.

Jiménez and Swede Peter Hanson were able to start celebrating without waiting for Captain Montgomerie's decision an hour later.

They did what they had to do to clinch the final two automatic spots for The Celtic Manor Resort on October 1-3, while Simon Dyson, who began the week hoping that a win would get him into the side, finished sixth.

Jiménez needed a top nine finish to make sure and was joint third, while Hanson required top 43 and was 19th.