LUSS — Italy’s Edoardo Molinari shot a final round 74 to win the Scottish Open by three strokes on Sunday and claim his first career victory on the European Tour.
Scoring was very high after a long spell of morning rain at Loch Lomond and Molinari’s 3-over par final round was enough for a 12 under total of 272.
Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke had begun the round a shot behind Molinari and his 5-over 76 was good enough to take second place, ahead of Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, whose 68 took him to third.
“When we teed off in the wind and rain I felt I didn’t have a chance because Darren is such a great player when it’s tough like that,” the 29-year-old Molinari said. “But after making a birdie at the third I increased that lead and from then I played conservatively concentrating on hitting fairways and I am proud of the way I did it.”
The victory lifted Molinari into sixth place in the world ranking points table that will provide the first four members of this year’s European Ryder Cup team.
He is now only 11 points behind Ian Poulter in the fourth qualifying spot and there is now a real prospect of two brothers playing alongside each other in the Cup at Celtic Manor for the first time.
The younger Francesco Molinari, who was playing in the final group, faded from joint third place at the start of the day to joint fourth after 1-over 72.