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Edoardo Molinari returns to winners circle in Morocco.

Molinari (Photo: European Tour )
Edoardo Molinari claimed his first European Tour title in seven years in the most dramatic of fashions at the Trophée Hassan II, beating Irishman Paul Dunne in a play-off after the Italian carded an eagle on the final hole of regulation play to force extra holes.

In an enthralling finale at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, the 2010 Ryder Cup star came racing through the pack on the back nine with two birdies and two eagles, as Dunne struggled to hold onto the two-shot lead he carried into the final round.

But it was Molinari’s heroics at the final hole which proved the real turning point, sinking a 25 foot putt for what was the only three on the tough par five 18th all day to force extra holes courtesy of a five under 68 and a nine under total.

Both players struggled on the first extra hole but, following an imaginative putt from the first cut of rough off the back of the 18th green, Molinari left himself with an easier par chance than Dunne.

When the 24 year old from Wicklow rolled his eight-footer past on the left side, Molinari was left to knock in the winning putt for a third European Tour victory, which marked a remarkable return following a difficult two year period during which he was forced to regain his card twice through Qualifying School.

“It's fantastic," said the former US Amateur Champion Molinari. "I've been through some very hard times with injuries and bad form. To be able to win this week deletes a lot of bad memories and hopefully I can keep going down this road.

 “It just shows that you should never give up, you should always keep trying, keep working hard. I've probably been the player who has spent the most time on the driving range over the last three years. This is a great reward for so much hard work.”

South Australian Wade Ormsby improved 22 positions with his final round of 70 on the demanding layout to complete the tournament in 34th position and was the only Australian to make the cut.

The European Tour now moves to Shenzhen in China for €2.8 million the Shenzhen International beginning on Thursday. The event is a stand alone European Tour event although next week’s Volvo China Open is jointly sanctioned with the One Asia Tour.   

 

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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