He didn't win, but he convinced. In the United Arab Emirates, Francesco Molinari was among the protagonists of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Rolex Series tournament of the DP World Tour 2023 which the blue finished in 5th place - with a score of 270 (67 67 69 71 , -14) strokes - after leading at the end of the second and third rounds.
The winner was the French Victor Perez, with his third title on the circuit.
Francesco Molinari, results
Towards the Ryder Cup in Rome, scheduled from 29 September to 1 October, the Azzurri showed encouraging signs in the eyes of Luke Donald, captain of the Europe team.
Because if Molinari has long been in the running for victory, which he has been pursuing for almost four years now (the last acute one arrived in March 2019, on the PGA Tour and at the Arnold Palmer Invitational) Guido Migliozzi until the "moving day" kept the pace of the best.
Leader in the middle of the race with Chicco Molinari, he then finished 20th with 278 (-10) behind Edoardo Molinari, 17th with 277 (-11). The first Top 5 of 2023 allowed Chicco Molinari to earn 13th place in the "Race to Dubai Rankings", the order of merit of the circuit.
Not only that: the 40-year-old from Turin collected 321,744.91 euros against a total prize pool of 9,000,000 dollars. But there's more. On the DP World Tour, apart from the Majors and WGC tournaments, it was since June 2018 - when he finished second at the Italian Open - that Molinari did not close an event in the top five positions.
And today's result is the testimony of what was already demonstrated last week when, precisely with Migliozzi and Perez, he dragged the Continental Europe team to success (in the double role of captain-player) in the Hero Cup, a Ryder Cup model challenge.
And speaking of Perez, the great feat has arrived for the 30-year-old transalpine. Already runner up in 2020 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (in that year he also finished second at the BMW PGA Championship), three years later he took his revenge in Abu Dhabi despite some thrills in the finale.
And he too, at the Ryder Cup in Rome, wants to be there. In 2006 Francesco Molinari won the Italian Open, the first Italian since Massimo Mannelli in 1980. In 2009 he won the golf world cup together with his brother Edoardo.
It is the first time that an Italian couple has won the trophy. From 1 to 4 October 2010 he was part together with his brother Edoardo of the European team that won the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. It should be noted that it was not the first time that two brothers participated together in the event, but it was the first time that the team to which the brothers belonged achieved victory.
In November 2010 he won the HSBC Champions, his first World Golf Championships tournament. Molinari prevailed by overtaking then world number one Lee Westwood by a length, after having remained in the lead throughout the tournament. For him, a collection of €860,153 and the conquest of 14th place in the World Golf Ranking.