Outsiders Italy take first World Cup

Molinari brothers finish strongly to pip Ireland and Sweden by one stroke
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The Independent Online

Italy won the Omega Mission Hills World Cup by one shot from Ireland and Sweden yesterday as brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari carded a four-under-par 68 in their final-round foursomes.

Elder brother Francesco crucially holed three consecutive birdie putts on the back nine before European Tour Challenge Tour No 1 Edoardo tapped home at the last to follow up last week's win in Japan as Italy won a first World Cup at 29-under-par.

Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell had stretched their overnight lead to three shots on the front nine, but failed to pick up a shot on the way home and a final-round two-under 70 was not enough to secure the wire-to-wire victory.

McIlroy said: "We got lucky in a couple of spots today where it could have really gone wrong for us there and it didn't. So we can't say we didn't have the luck with us. We just didn't make the most of it."

Sweden produced a gallant attempt to defend their title as world No 7 Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, who was beaten in a play-off by Edoardo last week in Japan, carded a final round three-under-par 69.

England finished fourth at 26-under-par as an impressive bogey-free eight-under 64 came just too late for Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. Hiroyuki Fujita and Ryuji Imada claimed fifth for Japan, four shots back, after a 69, with Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby earning sixth for Australia.

South Africa, Wales, YE Yang's Korea, Martin Kaymer's Germany and the US, who shot a brilliant bogey-free final round 10-under-par 62, rounded out the top 10 at 20-under-par.

Spain ended a disastrous week with a two-over 74 as the world No 8 Sergio Garcia and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano finished at just seven-under-par overall with Scotland propping up the table three shots back.

Francesco Molinari, who claimed seven top-10 finishes this season, was delighted with the manner of Italy's victory. "It's been a tough day and we have been playing against some of the best golfers in the world. It was really tough until the last, but it feels even better when it is like that," he said.

"It's really great for Italy. I think we deserved it as we attacked from the first day with every putt and every shot and we tried to make as many birdies as possible.

"I was lucky to hole two big putts on 12 and 13, which were probably the key moment, and we just had to hang in there and hope for the best."