Italy’s Edoardo Molinari produced a scintillating finish on the Centenary Course at Gleneagles to win the Johnnie Walker Championship by a single shot from Brett Rumford of Australia.
The 29-year-old, playing in the final group, was two shots behind Rumford with three holes to play, the Australian having posted a clubhouse total of nine-under-par 279. But Molinari finished with three birdies in a row to leapfrog Rumford and take his second European Tour title on Scottish soil after capturing the Scottish Open earlier this summer.
“I knew I had to do two birdies on the last three at least to tie him and I had a big putt on 16, I think that was very important,” said Molinari. “Then I hit it safely on the green on 17, and just before I hit the putt, Colin my caddie told me I was owed a putt because I hit a lot of good putts today that didn’t go in, and he was right. Then, playing the last, I played a nice second shot, and made a great chip to leave a tap-in.”
Edoardo began the day a shot off the lead held by his brother Francesco. Playing together in the final group, they both struggled in the middle part of the round as strong winds made playing conditions very difficult. But they held their scores together and, after 15 holes, were tied on seven-under-par with only Rumford ahead of them.
Under intense pressure, Edoardo then found another gear to secure a memorable victory. He’s the first player to win two European Tour events in Scotland in the same season.
Francesco dropped back with a bogey at his final hole to finish in a tie for third with Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spaniard was given cause to celebrate at the conclusion of the tournament, as was Peter Hanson. With Simon Dyson falling just short in his bid to win this event, both Jimenez’s and Hanson’s places in the 2010 Ryder Cup team were confirmed.
Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
August 26-29, purse £1,400,000, par 72
1 Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 68 69 71 278 €282,773
2 Brett Rumford (Aus) 71 70 68 70 279 €188,511
T3 Jamie Donaldson (Wal) 69 74 69 69 281 €87,661
T3 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 70 68 71 72 281 €87,661
T3 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 68 70 68 75 281 €87,661
6 Simon Dyson (Eng) 68 70 70 74 282 €59,883
T7 Bradley Dredge (Wal) 71 68 74 70 283 €43,774
T7 Damien McGrane (Ire) 72 67 70 74 283 €43,774
T7 Marcel Siem (Ger) 71 71 71 70 283 €43,774