Form and class combined as Francesco Molinari achieved his boyhood dream to win The Open at Carnoustie.
Molinari produced a bogey-free round under the most extreme pressure to end on eight-under, two strokes clear of the field, and become the first Italian to win a major golf title, 23 years after Costantino Rocca went so close at St Andrews.
In ten previous appearances at the world’s oldest major the Italian had missed four cuts and only once has he finished inside the top 10 - back in 2013.But few players are in richer form than the 35-year old, who won his maiden PGA Tour title by a mammoth eight strokes last month and claimed the biggest European Tour crown of his career at Wentworth in May.
Those wins have brought riches and expectation but this brings something more valuable - a place in his nation’s sporting history."I feel disbelief. It is amazing to be here with the Claret Jug,” he said, after incredibly managing to play 36 holes of weekend golf, on one of the world's most demanding courses, without dropping a shot.
“Obviously, great memories and it's had a great impact, with people recognising me more and just around the world being told the Champion Golfer of the Year is something obviously I used to dream of, and to finally have it come true is a huge achievement for me. ” Francesco molinari