Francesco and Edoardo Molinari won the Omega Mission Hills World Cup for Italy, firing a closing 68 to finish one shot clear of Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
The Italian brothers came into the final round a shot behind the Irish pairing but they pegged back the deficit before three consecutive birdies on the back nine gave them a narrow advantage they maintained until the end.
It was a first World Cup victory for Italy and a second title in two weeks for Edoardo who won the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan last Sunday. Brother Francesco was delighted with the manner of their win at Mission Hills.
“It’s really great for Italy. I think we deserved it as we attacked from the first day with every putt and every shot and we tried to make as many birdies as possible,” he said.
As well as a winner’s cheque for over €1 million the brothers were also awarded a rare bottle of 30-year-old Ballantines whisky.
Ireland who led after rounds one, two and three played a solid final round of two-under-par 70 but they came up just short of the Italian’s winning total.
“I’m very happy for Italy,” said McIlroy. “For two brothers to go out and win a title like this, it’s incredible. It will be a great sense of satisfaction in the family tonight and across the whole country. It’s been a great week and Graeme and I really enjoyed it.”
Consolation for the Irish came in the fact they recorded the lowest round of the week – a 58 in the opening day’s fourball. The pair were awarded a bottle of Ballantine’s 21-year-old for that effort. McDowell is an international brand ambassador for the whisky.
Defending champions Sweden finished the week in a tie for second with the Irish while the English duo of Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher fired a closing 64 to climb to fourth spot.
Omega Mission Hills World Cup
Mission Hills GC, China
Nov 26-29, purse $5,500,000, par 72
1 Italy 64 66 61 68 259 €1,135,680
Edoardo Molinari / Francesco Molinari
T2 Ireland 58 68 64 70 260 €484,334
Graeme McDowell / Rory McIlroy
T2 Sweden 64 65 62 69 260 €484,334
Robert Karlsson / Henrik Stenson
4 England 66 69 63 64 262 €205,758
Ian Poulter / Ross Fisher
5 Japan 62 71 64 69 266 €153,650
Hiroyuki Fujita / Ryuji Imada
6 Australia 68 70 62 67 267 €133,609
Stuart Appleby / Robert Allenby
T7 Wales 66 68 64 70 268 €85,510
Stephen Dodd / Jamie Donaldson
T7 South Africa 65 70 62 71 268 €85,510
Rory Sabbatini / Richard Sterne
T7 Germany 66 71 66 65 268 €85,510
Martin Kaymer / Alex Cejka
T7 USA 67 72 67 62 268 €85,510
Nick Watney / John Merrick
T7 Korea 64 75 61 68 268 €85,510
Charlie Wi / Yong-eun Yang