Race to Dubai: Francesco Molinari wins as Tommy Fleetwood misses out

Tommy Fleetwood congratulates Francesco Molinari

Francesco Molinari won the Race to Dubai after defending champion Tommy Fleetwood failed to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Englishman Fleetwood needed to win the event to overhaul Molinari of Italy, but a closing 68 left him on 10 under.

Molinari, who this year claimed his first major with victory at The Open, was confirmed as European number one during the final round in Dubai.

With nine holes to play, England’s Danny Willett leads on 17 under par.

Race to Dubai victory caps a memorable year for 36-year-old Molinari, who also became the first European player to seal a perfect 5-0 record in the Ryder Cup in September.

He is the first Italian to become the European Tour’s top player.

Fleetwood spurned his chances of retaining his title at Jumeirah Golf Estates after carding a two-over-par 74 in the third round on Saturday.

He had played himself into contention at the halfway stage with a five-under 67, but fell eight shots behind leaders Willett and American Patrick Reed.

“It’s just golf, but it does hurt when you have days like that,” Fleetwood said on Saturday.

“I feel the adrenaline might have gone. I think you kind of know when your time’s up. I lasted within two days of the [end of the] season and it was always a stretch trying to win it.”

More to follow.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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