Published May 06, 2012
| Sports Network
Seville, Spain – Francesco Molinari fired a bogey-free, seven-under 65 on Sunday to roar from behind and capture the Open de Espana.
The Italian finished at eight-under 280 and won by three strokes at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla.
The victory was Molinari's third on the European Tour. He broke through with his national title, the Italian Open, in 2006, then hoisted the trophy at the 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions event.
"Everything went according to the plan perfectly," Molinari said on TV.
Alejandro Canizares (69), Soren Kjeldsen (71) and Pablo Larrazabal (71) shared second place at five-under 283. Canizares and Larrazabal were the low Spaniards at their very meaningful national Open.
It was one year ago this week that golf legend, and the face of Spanish golf, Seve Ballesteros passed away.
"It just makes it even more special," Molinari said in a televised interview. "It's always special to win on tour, but to win in Spain in these circumstances is even better."
Sicilian Open winner Thorbjorn Olesen (70) and another Spaniard, Jorge Campillo (72), tied for fifth at minus-three.
It was a tough day for third-round leader Simon Dyson. He struggled to a four- over 76 and fell into a tie for 12th at one-under par.
Dyson began the final round with a four-stroke cushion over Molinari and got off to a great start. He birdied his first two holes, while Molinari played well under the radar. Molinari birdied three of his first five, then waited as Dyson collapsed.
Dyson bogeyed three out of four holes from the fifth to fall down to four- under par for the championship. He would never again be atop the leaderboard, not after Molinari took control of the tournament around the turn.
He birdied the ninth hole and took the lead by himself with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 10.
Molinari parred the 11th and 12th, then went to work padding his advantage.
He nearly made a long, difficult eagle putt at the par-five 13th, but settled for a tap-in birdie. Molinari made it two in a row thanks to an 11-footer at the 14th.
He was four clear of the field, and, although Canizares, Kjeldsen and Larrazabal got as close as three, Molinari parred out for the relatively easy victory.
"It's not easy," he said. "I just tried to stay calm, hitting fairways, hitting the middle of the green. I was happy with the eight-under finish."
Another Italian, Matteo Manassero, shot a two-under 70 on Sunday and tied for seventh with Markus Brier (67), Gareth Maybin (67), Graeme Storm (71) and Nicolas Colsaerts (71). The group came in at two-under 286.
NOTES: Molinari moved to second place in the list of most European Tour wins by an Italian and trails Costantino Rocca by two...Molinari's four-shot, final-round winning comeback is the largest on The European Tour in 2012...Molinari's older brother Edoardo had a two-under 70 on Sunday and tied for 51st at plus-eight...Last year's winner Thomas Aiken and European Ryder Cup captain, and close friend of Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, headlined a group at seven-over par...Next up for the European Tour will be the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal, where Michael Hoey won the 2011 title.