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  • Open de Espana, Round Four

Molinari magic seals Seville title

ESPN staff
May 6, 2012 « Del Potro defends Estoril crown in style | Chartbeat test »
Francesco Molinari grabbed his third European Tour title © Getty Images
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Francesco Molinari fired a brilliant final-round 65 to clinch the Open de Espana title in Seville.

Trailing by four strokes overnight, the Italian was peerless from tee to green en route to a closing effort of seven under, which was enough to earn him a three-shot victory as he finished clear of his nearest challengers, the trio of Alejandro Canizares, Soren Kjeldsen and Pablo Larrazabal, on eight under.

Molinari was supreme as he found 13 of 14 fairways and gave himself plenty of birdie opportunities by making 17 greens in regulation. His putting was average - he needed 30 swings of the short stick - but it mattered little as time and again he put himself in positions to pick up shots, meaning the odd miss proved insignificant.

"I knew I was playing well," he said. "I just needed some putts to drop. I was also hoping the other guys would not go too far under par and everything worked out perfectly."

Despite his victory, Molinari remains out of the qualifying spots for this year's Ryder Cup, and he admits his good form will have to continue if he wants to make Jose Maria Olazabal's European team.

"Everybody is desperate to make the team, but unfortunately for us there are only 12 spots," he said. "It's going to be hard - there are a lot of great players in Europe at the moment."

Overnight leader Simon Dyson capitulated on Sunday, six bogeys undoing his early good work. The Englishman, holding a one-shot lead after three rounds in Seville, made quick amends for his closing birdie on Saturday by draining an 18-foot putt at the first.

It got even better at the second when he holed out from sand to begin with back-to-back birdies, but his fast start soon became a distant memory when an error at the long fifth proved the start of a downward spiral that saw Dyson sign for a 76 to finish on one under.

Robert Rock finished a largely disappointing week level par following a 72, while Matteo Manassero shot his third 70 of the tournament to end on two under.

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