Molinaris give Italy first World Cup title
SHENZHEN, China (AP)Brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari won Italy's first World Cup of Golf by one stroke Sunday, beating Ireland, which led after the first three rounds, and defending champion Sweden.
The Molinari brothers shot a 4-under 68 in the alternate-shot final round, finishing at 29-under 259 in the $5.5 million tournament at Mission Hills. Francesco chipped from a greenside bunker to 3 feet on the 18th to set up Edoardo's winning par putt.
"It was a very sweet feeling after holing the putt," said Edoardo, the European Challenge Tour No. 1.
"When I saw the ball in the bunker, it was lying OK, and I just said, 'Francesco, just knock it on the green anywhere, and I'm going to hole the putt,"' said Edoardo, winner of last week's Dunlop Phoenix in Japan.
Francesco added, "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."
Italy made its move with three straight birdies between 11 and 13.
Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (70) led the tournament until the final round when they fired a 2-under 70. McDowell's putt for birdie on the final hole to force a playoff came up short.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson shot a 69. Playing a group ahead of Italy and Ireland, Sweden could have had a share of the lead and forced a playoff, but Stenson's long birdie putt on the 18th hole lipped out.
England (64) finished third three strokes behind the leaders, while Japan (69) was seven strokes back in fourth place, and Australia (67) was eight strokes back in fifth.
Americans Nick Watney and John Merrick (62) had the best score in the final round to finish nine strokes back in sixth, tied with Germany (65), South Korea (68), Wales (70) and South Africa (71).