Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen fired a fine closing round of 64 to win the 75th Italian Open at Gardagolf CC by a single shot from home favourite Francesco Molinari.

Thorbjorn Olesen wins Italian Open

Thorbjorn Olesen played a bogey-free final round at Gardagolf CC to finish one clear of Italy’s Francesco Molinari and pick up the fifth European tour victory of his career. Olesen carded a superb 64 to emerge from the bunch and take the win.

Home favourite and tournament host Francesco Molinari was going for a second straight win following his victory in the BMW PGA Championship last week. He made a great run at claiming a third Italian Open title, coming up one shy.

Francesco Molinari was runner-up

Francesco Molinari was runner-up

Olesen came to the 72nd hole with a two-shot lead but his drive to the last ended well left of the fairway. The Dane had to wait for Molinari ahead on the green before he could play his tough second shot. He looked on as the Italian holed a monster birdie putt, eliciting a huge roar from the home fans.

Molinari’s closing birdie put the pressure on Olesen and that was ramped up even further when the Dane missed the green in the right- hand bunker. He blasted out from there, but his ball rolled some eight feet past the cup. Putting for par and a one-shot win, Olesen confidently stroked the ball home.

Olesen won a fifth European Tour title

Olesen won a fifth European Tour title

“It feels amazing,” he said. “I’ve never had a putt to win on the 18th green like that before and I was pleased to take the opportunity. Francesco made it hard for me and I’m glad to get the victory.”

Lee Slattery finished the tournament alone in third place with Rafa Cabrera-Bello enjoying another good week in fourth. Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Andy Sullivan were tied for fifth.

As the second event in the Rolex Series, Ryder Cup points count 1.5 times from this tournament meaning that Olesen, having been well outside contention, has now moved into a position where he will have a realistic chance of making the European side.

Italian Open
Gardagolf CC, Brescia, Italy
31 May – 3 Jun
Purse: €5,800,000 Par: 71

1 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 65 68 65 64 262
2 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 66 66 66 65 263
3 Lee Slattery (Eng) 66 69 62 67 264
4 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 65 67 68 66 266
T5 Lee Westwood (Eng) 66 70 68 63 267
T5 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 66 66 71 64 267
T5 Andy Sullivan (Eng) 67 68 65 67 267
T8 Callum Shinkwin (Eng) 66 71 67 64 268
T8 Ryan Fox (NZL) 69 68 67 64 268
T8 Ian Poulter (Eng) 67 68 66 67 268
T8 Jordan Smith (Eng) 67 68 65 68 268
T8 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 63 68 69 268
T8 Danny Willett (Eng) 65 67 67 69 268

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage