Molinari revels in home success

Molinari revels in home success

Francesco Molinari has described his success at the Italian Open as 'amazing' after he pipped Danny Willett to victory on Sunday.

The 33-year-old recorded a closing round of 65 to finish on 22-under-par for the tournament, one shot clear of Masters champion Willett, after both players had started the day level at the top of the leaderboard.

It proved to be a historic day for home favourite Molinari, who became the first Italian to win the same European Tour event twice, following his success at Golf Club Milano in 2006.

The four-time European Tour winner had appeared to be cruising towards the title after holding a four-shot lead with six holes to play, but Willett responded with a birdie at 13 and an eagle at 14, and Molinari conceded that the victory became something of a rollercoaster ride.

"It's been a rollercoaster," he said. "It's amazing to see this amount of people out here supporting me.

"I had the ideal start, I couldn't start any better. When I birdied 12 I got four shots [clear] and thought maybe I could relax a bit and I got punished straight away. Coming in I had nothing left, I was just playing with my soul."

Spaniard Nacho Elvira and England's Chris Paisley finished in a tie for third place on 18-under, while English pair Richard Bland and David Horsey were two shots further back.

tagged in