Francesco Molinari: Race to Dubai Champion
After a long season on the European Tour, Italian Francesco Molinari capped off the best season of his career by becoming the Race to Dubai champion.
With fellow 'MoliWood' brother-in-arms Tommy Fleetwood failing to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Open champion had a rather trouble-free climax to his 2017/18 season at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
It's been a year not to be forgotten for 'Frankie' so, to help etch those memories in stone (or on an internet blog piece, at least), here's a run-through of his collection of career firsts and historic achievements.
Maiden PGA Tour Win
Back in July at the Quicken Loans National, Molinari secured his first ever PGA Tour win by finishing an impressive eight shots clear at TPC Potomac.
Having already won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth just a month previous, he looked in control from early on and a spectacular final round 62 gave the Italian an unassailable lead.
Open Champion - Maiden Major
At Carnoustie Golf Link in Scotland, Molinari broke his major duck, holding off a charge from a rejuvenated Tiger Woods along the way.
Despite starting Sunday three shots behind joint leaders Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner he emerged from a six-way tie for the lead to hoist the Claret Jug.
Catch some behind-the-scenes highlights from Carnoustie...
Joins The World's Elite
Over the past few years, Molinari has been steadily climbing the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) with a string of consistent, if unspectacular seasons on both sides of the Atlantic. The victory at the BMW PGA at Wentworth, the PGA Tour win at TPC Potomac and grabbing the Claret Jug at Carnoustie have all aided the jump into the world's top ten for the first time ever.
He currently sits at number six in the OWGR and the only European who sits ahead of him is the former world number one Justin Rose.
Want to see the beautifully 'simple' swing sequence that's served 'Frankie' well?...
Ryder Cup Excellence
Amidst the stunning 17.5 - 10.5 European victory at the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris, one star shone brightest as Molinari secured a maximum five points from a possible five throughout the three days play.
Possibly more famous than his own individual haul is the partnership he struck up with former European number one, Tommy Fleetwood. 'MoliWood' as they were soon dubbed played a huge role in wrestling the Ryder Cup back from American clutches - and it seemed only fitting that it would be Molinari who would secure the winning point during Sunday's singles.
The two new best-buds were clearly inseparable in the days after...
The morning after the week before 🏆#TeamEurope #Moliwood pic.twitter.com/J5JunSS5Ee— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) October 1, 2018
Race To Dubai Title
Molinari put the gloss on a great year on the European Tour by capitalising on his massive lead in the Race to Dubai points race at the DP World Tour Championship and becoming the first ever Italian winner of the Race to Dubai title.
Only Englishman Tommy Fleetwood was within striking distance in the standings heading into the four days of play in Dubai but, with a victory essential, Molinari's Ryder Cup partner could never really threaten the lead.
What Might 2019 Hold?
There might need to be a balancing act between having high aspirations to record another fine year on both sides of the Atlantic and, at the same time, not applying too much pressure to hit the lofty heights of 2018.
Having a taste of major success could make Molinari yearn for too much too soon. Seemingly, he's one of the most grounded players on Tour so we're pretty sure he won't get ahead of himself just yet.
For now, he can savour every moment of being Champion Golfer Of The Year, Race to Dubai Champion and European No.1 all in one glorious season.
Need a helping hand improving your golf game? If you're not a Hole19 app user you can download for FREE today by clicking your app store button below.