Molinari dominates Quicken Loans for first PGA Tour win

       Francesco Molinari reflects on taking a share of the lead in to the final round of the Quicken Loans National

2:32 Francesco Molinari reflects on taking a share of the lead in to the final round of the Quicken Loans National

Another birdie on the 12th when Ancer left his birdie putt on the lip expanded Molinari's advantage to seven strokes with six holes to play, and after two more birdies at the 13th and 14th, the rest of the round was a stroll to the finish line.

If you would have told me one week ago that Tiger Woods would finish in the top 10 in putting out of the 2018 Quicken Loans National field, I would have asked you which seat Woods would be placing the trophy on his private flight back to Florida.

Ryan Armour (68) and Zac Blair (66) were two shots behind. He finished 11 under for the week and was in fifth place with some players still on the course.

He admitted it had been a gamble to then decide to miss the French Open at Le Golf National, venue for September's clash with the United States, to play in a PGA Tour event instead. All the same, the $1.278 million winner's check comes close to doubling what he had won on Tour this year so far.

He struggled early on the West Coast, failing to post a top-10 finish, and as the heart of the European Tour schedule approached he was forced to make a hard choice.

Woods matched the 21-birdie count of runaway victor Francesco Molinari over the week, although the tournament host littered his card with several more bogeys than the Italian as he closed on 11 under par - 10 strokes behind the champion.

Francesco Molinari of Italy hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of The National golf tournament at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Atop the leaderboard, Andrew Landry and J.J. Spaun shared the lead at 7-under par after posting matching 63s. Hossler shot a 71 and was five shots behind, while Gay had a 72.

And yet, with a new putter in the bag this week, Woods felt good about the improvement he made on the greens.

Ancer wound up with a share of the lead. Horschel carded a 68 to stay one stroke off the lead, tied for fourth with Molinari, who came in with his own 65 in the second round. Woods' second shot settled about eight feet from the hole.

Molinari's final-round performance equaled the course record, which was also achieved this week by Kevin Streelman on Friday and Ancer on Saturday. She shot a 5-under 67 on another scorching afternoon to get to 11-under 205 and move a step closer to her third major win.

The 51-year-old Toms won for the first time on the 50-and-over tour.

Molinari picked the PGA Tour because he was No. 123 in the FedEx Cup and wanted to improve his position, especially after missing the Tour Championship by what amounted to one shot previous year.

The Italian is playing at the National and plans to be at the John Deere Classic in two weeks, even though the European Tour is in the meat of its summer schedule with national opens in France, Ireland and Scotland leading up to the British Open. Woods is particularly satisfied with his putting after making the switch to a TaylorMade Ardmore model before the tournament.

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