Molinari pulls away at Quicken Loans for first PGA Tour win


Francesco Molinari won his first PGA Tour title with a convincing eight-shot victory at the Quicken Loans National in Maryland.

Molinari never buckled on the front nine despite hearing the Tiger roars and then took a stranglehold on the tournament with an eagle from 48 feet on the 10th, a birdie from 2 feet on the 11th, a birdie from 7 feet on the 12th, a birdie from 12 feet on the 13th and another birdie from 2 feet on the 14th.

It was also an encouraging week for Tiger Woods as he continues to improve since his return to the circuit, the American shooting 66 to finish 10 shots behind the victor in a tie for fourth on his last start before the British Open.

But Ancer went even better, matching the course record with an eight-birdie 62. I figured I needed to get to at least 10 (under) today to be in a good spot. "This is what I came here for".

"Seems like it was the right choice in the end", he said.

"One of the neat things about playing an Open Championship, they don't really care what par is", said Woods, who finished T-4 this week.

Abraham Ancer, of Mexico, reacts after his putt on the 16th green during the third round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Potomac, Md. He's held the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour 45 times and won an astounding 43 of those events, that's a 95.6 percent conversion rate.

The pair lie two shots ahead of Zac Blair and Ryan Armour, while Andrew Landry is at 10 under.

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In his media session after a closing 66 at the Quicken Loans National, Woods got to commenting on the upcoming Open Championship (his next start).

The 28-year-old South Korean star birdied the 14th and 15th holes to jump ahead of Canadian Brooke Henderson and finished with a birdie on 18.

"It's an incredible feeling - I still have to realize what's happened", Molinari said.

"The putts I missed, I hit a lot of good ones, which I don t mind because I hadn t been doing that for a while, so this was nice".

The French Open offered valuable Ryder Cup points on a course where the matches will be played this fall. He finished in fourth place for his third top-five finish of the season. He moved to 42nd in the FedEx Cup standings with his win. "When I was struggling there for a little bit, and I couldn't even cheer for my good ones. And one day I want to lift that trophy". A possible top-5 finish turned into a tie for 11th.

Woods said he will work on dealing with the winds of Carnoustie that toyed with him at the 1999 Open. Evidently I would have had to shoot 24 on the back nine to have a chance.

Tiger Woods made a leaderboard charge before mistakes killed his momentum.

"I'm going to have to shoot a low round to try to give myself a chance", said Woods.