Francesco Molinari returned to winning ways yesterday as the Italian Ryder Cup star produced a best-of-the-week 65 – seven under par – to turn a four-stroke deficit into a three-shot win at the Spanish Open in Seville.
Molinari was ranked No 14 in the world when he beat Lee Westwood at the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai nearly 18 months ago, but this, his third European Tour victory, was his first success since then. The overnight leader, England's Simon Dyson, was left to reflect on a 76 that dropped him to 12th and dealt a blow to his hopes of a Ryder Cup debut in September. The Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Spain's Alejandro Canizares and Pablo Larrazabal were joint second.
"I knew I was playing well. I just needed some putts to drop," said 29-year-old Molinari, who moves back into the world's top 30 ahead of the Players Championship at Sawgrass but is currently not in a qualifying position for this year's Ryder Cup. "I just have to play the same golf a few more weeks and, hopefully, I will be there. Everybody is desperate to make the team, but unfortunately for us there are only 12 spots."