Molinari crowned Race to Dubai champion after Fleetwood misses out

Danny Willett

Danny Willett

It was the 31-year-old Englishman's first victory since the 2016 Masters, secured with a final-round 4-under-par 68 for an 18-under total of 270.

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 very proud of how I handled that and how I handled myself emotionally after that", said Willett, who has battled a long-running back injury.

"You never quite know when a win is around the corner".

"I never thought something like this would happen to me to be honest, and now it's going to be a challenge to reset before next year and work as hard as I did the past winter and try to reproduce the same golf". It's just nice to be back. "Yeah, there were periods I wasn't sure I was ever going to do this again and even if I really wanted to play golf, so this is pretty special", he said, after receiving his cheque for £1m.

Italy's Francesco Molinari was nearly lost for words after capping an incredible season by winning the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

Molinari dethroned Tommy Fleetwood of the United Kingdom, who came 16th at Jumeirah Golf Estates, much higher than the Italian golfer, but he needed nothing but the win to successfully defend his title.

"I don't know who is more exhausted between Tommy and I", he added.

Molinari also won the BMW PGA Championship and the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National in a stellar year, so it is no wonder he is ready for a period of reflection after adding yet another honour.

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"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 fantastic", Reed said.

"Carnoustie was really not my favourite place, to say the least, before this year, and to go there and win it's incredible and it's probably impossible to process all of that".

The 36-year-old then became the first European player to compile a ideal 5-0 record in the Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National, having already teamed up with Tommy Fleetwood to make history as the first European pair to win all four of their matches together.

"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. You look at the players who have won the Race to Dubai or the Order of Merit before that, and obviously it's only really the top players that have done it", said the 36-year-old Italian.

"It's just an incredible achievement again".

Four of those points were won in a pairing with teammate Fleetwood.

'I'm struggling for words.

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