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Quickens Loans National: Francesco Molinari dominates in first PGA Tour win

03 July 2018

Sweet-swinging Francesco Molinari "executed the plan perfectly" to clinch a first PGA Tour title in style by taking control on the back nine as he stormed to an emphatic eight-shot victory at the Quicken Loans National in Maryland on Sunday.

The former world No 1 mixed six birdies with four bogeys during an up-and-down day at TPC Potomac, with a two-under 68 seeing slip six strokes back from 54-hole joint-leaders Abraham Ancer and Francesco Molinari.

Tiger Woods was charging up the leaderboard in the final round of the Quicken Loans National, the red numbers on his scorecard matching the familiar final-round colour of his shirt.

Australian Mark Leishman made three birdies in his closing four holes to sign for a 70 and finish at seven under, in a tie for 13th.

"Flushed the tee shot on 10, it's a daunting tee shot, and made a great putt for eagle [48 feet]", he said.

While he started off rough, Woods turned it around for his first birdie of the day on the fourth hole. "The course is getting a little bit more hard".

The leading four players in the top 12 and not already exempt secured qualification for The Open through the Open Qualifying series, with Armour, Kang, Ancer and Bronson Burgoon booking their spots for Carnoustie.

"The putts I missed, I hit a lot of good ones, which I don t mind because I hadn t been doing that for a while, so this was nice". "I don t know if they re going to have it like that, but you just never know".

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"It was frustrating because I played better than what my score indicates", Woods said Saturday. "Last year I think I missed the Tour Championship by one shot, so that's the mission this year, and this is a good step forward".

This week Woods added a TaylorMade putter to his bag, replacing the Scotty Cameron model he wielded to win 13 major championships, most recently the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in an 18-hole Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate.

Woods even asked National victor Francesco Molinari of Italy about his secret after shooting 62.

Toms sank a 15-foot birdie on the par-3 16th hole at the Broadmoor to take the lead, then held on with a 20-foot downhill make after laying up from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole.

But Woods pointed out a glaring one: his play on two of the easier holes on the course over the weekend.

But Woods looks to have fallen out of contention after a two under 68 left him six shots off the lead.

He finished the front nine with a strong putt, but then struggled in the back nine.

As the gallery at No. 5 scrambled to surround the green, Woods delivered a wedge shot to seven feet and made the putt to pull within three shots of the lead at that time. After hitting his tee shot through the green at the par-4 14th, Woods botched the chip and then missed a 7-footer.

Quickens Loans National: Francesco Molinari dominates in first PGA Tour win