Molinari makes history with British Open

'Dream come true' says 'Chicco' of Italy's first major triumph

Redazione ANSA Rome

(By Shelly Kittleson). (ANSA) - Rome, July 23 - Italian golfer Francesco Molinari cinched the British Open Championship on Sunday, winning the oldest major in history and garnering Italy's first major win.
    The first edition of the competition was held in 1860. No Italian had ever won it before. He won by two strokes from fellow Europeans Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose and the American duo of Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele and three strokes ahead of golf legend Tiger Woods, Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Chappell.
    His final-round score was 69, enabling him to finish with an eight-under-par total of 276. Molinari is thus once again at the top of the Ryder Cup European Points List and World Number Six on the Official World Golf Ranking. At the classic Scottish course of Carnoustie, Molinari commented on his win by saying that "it has been a fantastic week. I would like to thank many people, starting from my wife.
    Without her I would never have managed it. It was a success I had long been dreaming of". Born in Turin on November 8, 1982, Molinari is from a family of golfers. He started out at the Circolo Golf Torino and has been playing professionally since 1982. He has been married to Valentina Platini since 2007 and has two children, who he calls "my life". It was his third victory this season after those in the BMW PGA Championship (European Tour) and Quicken Loans National (PGA Tour). Molinari was at the back of the field at the beginning of the competition but later went on to make a comeback and history and ended with 276 (70 72 65 69, -8) strokes.
    Both he and Woods are now looking towards the Ryder Cup in Paris on September 28-30 and both were in 29th place at the beginning.
    Woods has won 14 major championships but none since 2008. The Open was his best showing in a major championship since his fourth-place finish at the 2013 Masters.
    Molinari seems to have won through a combination of perseverance and patience after years of sacrifices for his sport. Federgolf chairman Franco Chimenti said that the golfer "will soon become the best player in the world. This was a legendary feat that Francesco pulled off. Winning the Open Championship is something unique. He is much stronger than the others and now that he has gained confidence with the putts, no one can stop him. This is a key victory for 'Chicco' even ahead of the Ryder Cup 2022, which will be a historic event for Italian golf." Rome will be hosting the Ryder Cup for the first time ever in 2022. Molinari is also looking towards the Race to Dubai 2018 and FedEx Cup. Italian sport hailed Molinari's win.
    Inter Milan said he was a "legend". Alessandro Del Piero said "he wrote an unforgettable page in our sporting history".