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Francesco Molinari Outlasts Westwood for HSBC Title(part one)
The experience of losing to one No. 1 player in the world helped Francesco Molinari beat another.
When last seen on a world stage, (Taylormade R9 Forged Irons)Molinari was helpless against Tiger Woods in Ryder Cup singles. Woods, the former No. 1, steamrolled him for an easy victory at Celtic Manor.
A month later at the HSBC Champions, Molinari turned in a world-class performance against the new No. 1, Lee Westwood.
In a duel with Westwood that came down to the last putt,(Taylormade R9 Max Irons) Molinari played bogey-free Sunday at Sheshan International in Shanghai for a five-under-par 67, giving him a one-shot victory and a World Golf Championship title.
“It’s been four fantastic days, and especially the last two, playing head to head with Lee, was really tough,” Molinari, an Italian, said. “I think the experience of playing with Tiger in the Ryder Cup definitely helped me in the last couple of days, because when you are playing against No. 1 in the world,(TaylorMade Burner 2.0 Iron Set) it is not easy to always stick to the game plan and do your game.”
Woods was seven under over the last seven holes in that Ryder Cup match against Molinari. He was not even close to that level at the HSBC Champions, where even a 68 on the final day left him 13 shots behind in a tie for sixth.
He ended his PGA Tour season without a victory for the first time in his career.
Richie Ramsay of Scotland closed with a 71 and tied for third with Luke Donald of England, who had a 73. But this was Molinari’s show.(TaylorMade Tour Burner Irons + Driver) No one had a lower score in three of the four rounds, and he finished at 19-under 269.
It spoiled the debut of Westwood, a 37-year-old Englishman, atop the world ranking, but he put up a fight worthy of his ranking.
Westwood, coping with a calf injury throughout the summer, managed to play without a bogey on the weekend, and his 67 in the final round put him at 18-under 270, good enough to beat the rest of the field by nine shots.
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