Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Danny Willett wins in Dubai, Francesco Molinari crowned king of European Tour

Danny Willett Danny Willett fell outside the top 450 in the rankings earlier this year
Cary Erickson | 19 November, 2018, 21:13

Victory in the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is Willett's first win since slipping on the Green Jacket after winning the 2016 Masters. "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 know, now I'm going to have time to sit down and relax and really think back about the last few months.

'I'm struggling for words. Now it's so nice to be playing my sixth week out of seven feeling as fit as I've ever felt. To achieve those things, you know, in one single season, is just incredible'.

Molinari's triumph brings to a close a season in which he also won The Open and the BMW PGA Championship.

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

Fleetwood's chances effectively ended with a third-round 74 in which he failed to make a birdie, although he did bounce back with a closing 68 as he finished the season finale four strokes ahead of Molinari, who again looked tired as he capped the best year of his career with a solid 71.

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"It's tough in a way because it would have been probably easier in a way to play against anyone else but Tommy", he added.

The strong start, alongside four birdies, allowed Willett the luxury of bogeying twice and was still able to finish the round at 4 under and 18 under throughout the tourney, just two strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Matt Wallace, who was tied with Patrick Reed of the United States.

Molinari's finished down the leaderboard at the latest event in Dubai, which has been won by Danny Willett.

"He's obviously a great guy and a super talented player and I'm sure being younger than me, he's going to win a few more Race to Dubais". I lasted within two days of the season.

"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 unbelievable", Reed said. It's a special place.

"Today pretty much summed up the second half of the season".