Sports

Molinari and Ancer tied for lead at National

Molinari and Ancer tied for lead at National

Francesco Molinari delivered a record performance to win the final edition of the Quicken Loans National by eight shots, matching the largest margin this year on the PGA Tour.

Molinari matched the 18-hole course record with the lowest final round by a US PGA victor this season, his career low on the American tour by two shots.

Tiger Woods achieved his second-best result of the season, finishing in a tie for fourth on 11-under-par.

The Italian has played on two Ryder Cups and has won four times on the European Tour - including this year's BMW PGA Championship, that circuit's flagship event - but as this year progressed he found himself in a hard position.

Ryan Armour closed with a 68 to finish second, earning one of four spots to the British Open.

There were no big numbers for Molinari, who made just two bogeys all week at TPC Potomac and put on a ball-striking show hitting 62 of 72 greens in regulation for the tournament. "It wasn't an easy decision, I thought until the last minute whether to go to France or to come here, but seems like it was the right choice in the end". That turned into four birdies in a row. He's a two-time member of the European Ryder Cup team and is the only Italian player to win his country's national championship, achieving that feat in 2016. That was more bothersome to Ancer than the heat.

"If it stays dry and they don't put too much water on it (the golf course), then I think I have a shot of coming back and winning this golf tournament", Woods told Sky Sports. He won the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2010, before the PGA Tour recognized it as an official victory. Unlike Francesco Molinari and Abraham Ancer, he couldn't keep it going Saturday in the Quicken Loans National.

"My introduction to links golf could not have been any better as I played the Scottish Open at Carnoustie and the very next week I played the British at St. Andrews", he said. 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. "I've got a lot of work to do tomorrow". He missed several opportunities for birdies on the back nine, but then putted from 28 feet on the 17th before another birdie at the last. "Tomorrow I just need to go out and do my best, hit as many good shots as possible and see if that would be enough". He missed the putt.

"It was nice to make a couple of birdies coming in, granted missed a little kick-in on 14", he said after another solid display since undergoing spinal fusion surgery a year ago. It lost AT&T as a title sponsor, Quicken Loans stepped in for 2014, and then the Detroit-based company chose not to renew the contract, instead putting its sponsorship behind a new tournament in Detroit that starts next year.


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