It doesn't sound real - Molinari stunned by 2018 exploits

Annette Crawford
November 19, 2018

The tournament also heralded the end of the European Tour season, with Francesco Molinari claiming the Order of Merit.

Willett's final round of 68 at Jumeirah Golf Estates saw him finish 18 under par, two shots ahead of fellow Englishman Matt Wallace and current Masters champion Patrick Reed.

But Reed then missed the green on the par-3 17th to drop a shot while Willett hit a flawless approach for birdie to go two shots clear of clubhouse leader Wallace going into the final hole.

"It's been a hell of a lot of work".

Willett has not tasted victory since winning his first major title at Augusta in April 2016 and was outside the world's top 450 earlier this season following numerous injuries and a loss of form.

Having started the final round in a share of the lead with Reed, Willett surged three shots clear with a long-range eagle on the par-five second and a birdie on the seventh.

The father of two young boys then lost that lead after bogeying the 10th and 12th holes, but superbly regained the victory initiative with birdies at 14, 15 and the 17th before holding his nerve on the 18th.

"I am not going to lie, it would be an incredible thing to win, but regardless of what happens, with where my body, mind, golf is and just looking in the long-term of my career, this is pretty good". "But this, coming back after everything that's happened, is going to go down in the history books for myself as one of the most pleasing". It's just nice to be back. 'Just one of those days, I couldn't get the ball in the hole, ' said a despondent Fleetwood. "For that to happen on a Sunday in the position I was in, I knew I was in a good place".

"With the limited schedule that I play over here on the European Tour, to have a chance to go out and finish the year off right and win a golf tournament, give myself a little early Christmas gift of a trophy, would be awesome", Reed said.

"Today pretty much summed up the second half of the season", said Fleetwood, who needs to win the title to have any chance of overhauling Molinari on the money list.

"It's incredible", Molinari said. I'm pleased to have won the tournaments that I've won over the last few years.

"This morning on the first tee the announcement is the victor of The Open Championship, Race to Dubai leader, it doesn't sound real at the moment. Carnoustie was really not my favourite place, to say the least, before this year, and I go there and win." he added.

"I'm not very proud of this week for the way I played but obviously I will remember it for a long time for winning The Race to Dubai". To achieve those things in one single season is just incredible.

"Obviously next year, there's going to be a lot more expectation, and I need to be ready for that", admitted Molinari.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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