Italian golfer Francesco Molinari retained his first victory as he held off challenges from Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and other notable players to claim the Claret Jug at Carnoustie on Sunday.
Notably, Molinari became the first Italian to win a major.
Before to this year, Molinari had only won four tournaments since turning professional 14 years earlier. In the last several months, the 35-year-old has added three more trophies to his collection, with the Quicken Loans National and BMW PGA Championship now being joined by the Claret Jug.
Molinari responded to questions regarding his first major title by saying, “We will have to see. It’s still going to take time to really sink in and for me to really realize what I’ve done, and what this means for me and Italian golf.”
“Hopefully I can take it as a motivation to work even harder and achieve greater things,” he added.
Molinari’s record this year makes him one of the most in-form players on tour, and even he admits it has taken him by astonishment.
He stated, “For me, it’s hard to believe. Wentworth was the kick-start and was a big part of all of it. I came close there a few times and to finally pull it off meant a lot. It gave me a lot of confidence. To win on the PGA tour was another boost of confidence. I’ve never won too much in my career, until the last month or so. Now everything seems to be happening at the same time.”