Francesco Molinari, left, of Italy, poses with Tiger Woods and the trophy after he won the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Potomac, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Molinari wins, Woods ties for 4th in National

July 01, 2018 - 9:02 pm
Categories: 

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) — Francesco Molinari delivered a record performance to win the final edition of the Quicken Loans National.

Molinari holed a 50-foot eagle putt to start the back nine, and he never stopped until he turned the final round into a runaway Sunday at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. The Italian closed with an 8-under 62 for an eight-shot victory, matching the largest margin this year on the PGA Tour.

Molinari followed that eagle putt with an approach to 2 feet on No. 11, one of the hardest par 4s on tour that had yielded only one other birdie in the final round. He made three more birdies and ended his round by missing a birdie putt from 8 feet.

No matter. He finished at 21-under 259, breaking the tournament record by seven shots.

Tiger Woods closed with a 66, his lowest final round in more than five years, and he was never close. Woods tied for fourth, his best result since a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship three months ago, though he was 10 shots behind.

Ryan Armour had a 68 to finish second, earning one of four spots to the British Open. The other three spots went to Sung Kang, who finished third after a 64; Abraham Ancer, who tied for fourth after a 72; and Bronson Burgoon, who had a day he won't forget. He played with Woods for the first time and experience larger crowds and louder noise than he had ever experienced. And with a birdie on the final hole for a 67, he tied for sixth to earn his first trip to the British Open.

Molinari's decision to stay in America paid off in a big way. He is around the fringe of Ryder Cup qualifying, and the French Open was this week on the Ryder Cup course outside Paris. He also was No. 123 in the FedEx Cup, so Molinari decided to play the Quicken Loans National and the John Deere Classic in two weeks to improve his standing.

The victory, his second on the PGA Tour schedule, gives him a two-year exemption and moved him to No. 42 in the FedEx Cup. Molinari previously won the HSBC Champions in 2010, a World Golf Championships event in Shanghai. But that was before the PGA Tour recognized it as an official victory unless a PGA Tour member had won the tournament.

___

LPGA TOUR

KILDEER, Ill. (AP) — Sung Hyun Park beat So Yeon Ryu on the second hole of a playoff in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship for her second major title.

After a brief rain delay on the par-4 16th hole at Kemper Lakes, Ryu's birdie try rolled past, and Park finished off her South Korean compatriot with a 10-footer. Park raised her arms and placed her hands on her head before hugging her caddie and wiping away tears.

Japanese teen Nasa Hataoka, after shooting an 8-under 64 to post at 10 under, dropped out of the playoff with a par on the par-4 18th.

Ryu made a 20-footer for birdie from the fringe, and Park followed from 10 feet.

Park closed with a 3-under 69. Ryu had a 73. She took a two-stroke lead on the 16th, but hit into the water on the par-3 17th en route to a double bogey. Park made a brilliant par save on 16.

The 24-year-old Park also won the 2017 U.S. Women's Open.

Nine strokes behind Ryu entering the day, the 19-year-old Hataoka nearly pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in LPGA Tour history. She won the NW Arkansas Championship last week for her first tour title.

Jessica Korda (68) and Angel Yin (71) tied for fourth at 7 under, with Charley Hull (67) at 6 under. Brooke Henderson (74) — second through three rounds — was 5 under.

___

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — David Toms made one long putt to take the lead, then another one to preserve it on his way to a one-shot victory in the he U.S. Senior Open.

Toms sank a 15-foot birdie on the par-3 16th hole at the Broadmoor to take the lead, then held on with a 20-foot downhill make after laying up from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole.

He saved par with a downhill knee-knocker from 3 feet on No. 18 to close out the round of even-par 70. Toms finished 3-under 277 to edge Jerry Kelly, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Tim Petrovic.

The 51-year-old Toms won for the first time on the 50-and-over tour. He won 13 times on the PGA Tour, also winning a major at the 2001 PGA Championship.

Jimenez (69) and Petrovic (70) each made birdies on the 18th to get to 2 under. Kelly (72) led after the first three rounds, but finished the tournament without making a putt over 12 feet.

___

EUROPEAN TOUR

PARIS (AP) — Alex Noren closed with a 4-under 67 that stood up for a one-shot victory in the French Open.

The Swede started the day seven shots behind compatriot Marcus Kinhult but he birdied two of his last three holes to finish at 7-under 277.

Julian Suri had a one-shot lead playing the 18th hole and hit his approach into the water, making double bogey. Chris Wood also was at 8 under until two bogeys over his last four holes for a 73. They shared second place with Russell Knox, who closed with a 65.

Knox, Suri and Kinhult each earned spots in the British Open for being the leading three players among the top 10 not already exempt.

The 21-year-old Kinhult, who had a two-shot lead going into the final day, struggled in a round of 76 and tied for fifth with Jon Rahm of Spain and Matthew Southgate. Rahm, needing a birdie on the 18th to force a playoff, pulled his tee shot into the water and made bogey.

Justin Thomas, the No. 2 player in the world, shot 71 and tied for eighth at Le Golf National, the venue for the Ryder Cup this fall.

___

WEB.COM TOUR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Anders Albertson had seven straight birdies in an 8-under 63 to win the Lincoln Land Championship for his first Web.com Tour title.

Albertson earned $99,009 to jump from 45th to eighth on the money list with $172,203, more than enough to wrap up a PGA Tour for next season.

The 25-year-old former Georgia Tech player finished at 25-under 259 at Panther Creek for a two-stroke victory over Adam Long (63) and Kramer Hickok (67).

Albertson birdied Nos. 4-10, the longest streak this season and two off the tour record set by Omar Uresti in the 1994 Shreveport Open.

___

OTHER TOURS

MEN

Jazz Janewattananond began the back nine with five straight birdies and closed with a 4-under 67 for a four-shot victory at the Queen's Cup on the Asian Tour. The 22-year-old Thai won for the second time on the Asian Tour, and first time on home soil. Gaganjeet Bhullar had a 71 to finish second. ... Joachim Hansen of Denmark closed with a 1-under 70 for a five-shot victory in the Made in Denmark Challenge, his second victory this year on the European Challenge Tour. ... Do-yeob Moon closed with a 1-under 69 and won the KPGA Championship with a birdie on the second playoff hole to beat Changwon Han on the Korean Tour. Han shot 65 in the final round, only to make double bogey in the playoff. The victory earns Moon a spot in the lucrative CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on the PGA Tour in October.

WOMEN

Muni He of China shot a 5-under 67 for a four-shot victory in the Prasco Charity Championship on the Symetra Tour. Becca Huffner made eagle on the par-5 17th to get within two shots, only to double bogey the final hole. It was the first Symetra Tour victory for the 19-year-old He, who played one year at Southern California. ... Chae Yoon Park closed with a 3-under 69 and won the McCol-Yongpyong Resort Open in a playoff over Jeongmin Cho, Jin Seon Han and Hye Jin Kim on the Korean LPGA Tour.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()