Olesen holds off Molinari to break Italian hearts

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Thorbjorn Olesen edged out Francesco Molinari to win the Italian Open in what was a thrilling finale at Gardagolf Country Club

What happened at the Italian Open?

Thorbjorn Olesen fired a final round 64 to win the Italian Open on a thrilling final day at Gardagolf Country Club.

Olesen had made seven birdies in the round and headed to the final tee with a two-shot lead. In the group ahead, the home favourite Francesco Molinari drained a huge birdie putt to get within one shot.

The Italian, who typically exudes calmness on the course, broke into jubilant celebration and gave himself a chance of winning back-to-back Rolex Series events after winning last week’s BMW PGA Championship.

Olesen hooked his drive well left and found the right greenside bunker with his approach. It was simple: get up-and-down to win.

The bunker shot ran out to eight feet, where the Dane relied on his putter, yet again, to roll it in and win his fifth European Tour title.

Elsewhere, England’s Lee Slattery backed up Saturday’s 62 with a four-under-par 67 to finish solo third, Rafa Cabrera Bello finished fourth, while Ryder Cup vice-captains Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell made significant moves to finish tied for fifth alongside Andy Sullivan.

Full Italian Open leaderboard

Best quote

Olesen on Molinari’s final birdie:

I was standing there and saw that great putt he holed, that put a lot of pressure on me.

Best moments

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