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Francesco Molinari hopes Open victory can lead to more success

11:43 am, 23rd July 2018

The Italian held off challenges from Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and more to claim the Claret Jug at Carnoustie on Sunday.

Before 2018, Molinari had only won four tournaments since turning professional 14 years earlier.

But in the last seven months, the 35-year-old has added three more trophies to his collection, with the Quicken Loans National and BMW PGA Championship now being joined by the Claret Jug.

Asked what his first major title meant for his career, Molinari said: “We will have to see. It’s still going to take time to really sink in and for me to really realise what I’ve done, and what this means for me and Italian golf.

“Hopefully I can take it as a motivation to work even harder and achieve greater things.”

Molinari’s record so far this year makes him one of the most in-form players on tour, and even he admits it has taken him by surprise.

He said: “For me it’s hard to believe. Wentworth was the kick-start and was a big part of all of it. I came close there a few times and to finally pull it off meant a lot. It gave me a lot of confidence.

“To win on the PGA tour was another boost of confidence. I’ve never won too much in my career, until the last month or so. Now everything seems to be happening at the same time.”