Sometimes it only takes a few days to create a masterpiece and that is exactly what Francesco Molinari proved at the 147th Open Championship as he earned the title of Champion Golfer of the Year.
Molinari showed major poise at every turn and put together one of the most impressive weekends of championship golf in recent memory as he was the only player in the field without a bogey on the final 36-holes.
The ultimate display of the command he had on his game came at the 72nd hole – Carnoustie’s infamous and often treacherous “Home” hole.
With a one shot lead over the field and the pressure mounting, Molinari teed up his Pro V1x and found the right side of the fairway with his final drive of the day. Taking full advantage, he struck a near perfect approach shot that left him with a good look at birdie.
The rest, as they say, is history. Molinari put the finishing touches on his major masterpiece by rolling in a smooth birdie putt, extending his lead and ultimately sealing his victory.
Molinari became the first Italian to claim a major title in the history of golf and moments after hoisting the Claret Jug for the first time, Molinari summed it up perfectly as he addressed the crowd at Carnoustie.
“What a week.”
We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Francesco!
By the Numbers
• Molinari’s winning performance marked the 20th victory for Titleist golf ball players on the 2017-18 European Tour, nearly seven times the nearest competitor with 3.
• Molinari’s victory also marks the sixth consecutive major championship won by a player teeing up a Titleist golf ball.
• Molinari posted 17 birdies (tied for the most in the field) en route to his 8-under par 276 victory total.
• Leading into The Open, Molinari had captured the Quicken Loans National for his first PGA TOUR title, followed by a runner-up finish at the John Deere Classic two weeks later.
• Statistically on the PGA TOUR, Molinari is currently 2nd in Strokes Gained: Tee-to Green (1.764), 4th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (.856) and 14th in Greens in Regulation (70.58%). He averages over 300 yards (300.3) off the tee. In comparison, in 2016 prior to switching to the Pro V1x, Molinari was 19th in SG: Tee-to-Green (.859), 63rd in SG: Off-the-Tee (.192), 109th in GIR (64.93%) and his Driving Distance average was 286.7.
• Kevin Kisner (Pro V1) finished in a tie for second place, two shots behind Molinari, after posting a 6-under par 278.
• Eddie Pepperell (Pro V1) fired a final round 4-under par 67 – the lowest round of the day – to race 30 spots up the leaderboard and finish in a three-way tied for 6th at 5-under par 279.
• Defending champion Jordan Spieth finished in a three way tie for 9th at 4-under par.
• Titleist was once again the overwhelming golf ball choice at golf's oldest major, with 70% of the field (109 players) trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 12% (18 players) and more than all competitors combined.
• Titleist was also the top choice among players in the irons category with 43 sets in play. Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (187) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 57 in play.