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Molinari wins HSBC Champions Challenge

Westwood underlines why he's world number one

Posted Nov 08, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Francesco Molinari

Ryder Cup teammates, Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari, enjoyed a sensational battle for glory at the HSBC Champions Challenge in Shanghai over the weekend, with the Italian keeping his nerve to take the crown.
Molinari finished on 19 under, one ahead of world number one Westwood who was a further nine shots ahead of third placed Luke Donald on nine under. Westwood, who could have lost the world’s top spot had he not performed well saw his rivals for the accolade struggle to compete with him massively. Tiger Woods finished on seven under whilst German Martin Kaymer was two under and Phil Mickelson finished plus one. This result highlights further that Westwood is the rightly owner of that position at present.
But the major congratulations must be given to Molinari who held off Westwood’s challenge all weekend with some amazing golf.
The Italian constantly seemed to be one shot ahead of the Nottingham Forest supporting Westwood and showcases the wealth of talent coming out of Europe at the minute.
Molinari, with the focus never really on him, was able to play his natural game and reap the benefits of what has been a fantastic year for him. He said: “It wasn’t easy. I’m just really proud of the way I played and the way I handled myself. Lee is number one in the world, and he was playing som fantastic golf. It was a great finish at the end.”
This was only Westwood’s second stroke play tournament in three months following a calf injury but he showed no signs of rustiness and he was constantly in touch with the leader. He played the final 43 holes without a bogey and he even had a 25 foot eagle put on the last to take the match to a play-off but unfortunately, it stayed left of the hole and he made birdie.
Had he sunk that, it would have been harsh on Molinari as he played tremendous golf throughout the four days.
Westwood said: “I hit a lot of good shots today and a couple of poor ones. I had a bit of bad luck. It’s one of those things. I mean, 18-under-par and nine shots clear of third is never too bad. Today is juts typical of how I’ve played for the last two years.”

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