Sports Personality of the Year: Golfer Francesco Molinari named World Sport Star

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Italian golfer Francesco Molinari has been named World Sport Star of the Year at the BBC’s Sports Personality show.

The 36-year-old enjoyed a memorable 2018, most notably winning the Open Championship at Carnoustie in July to secure his first major and become the first Italian to win the title.

In September, he helped Europe to Ryder Cup victory over the United States.

In doing so, Molinari became the first European player to win all five of his matches.

He also won the PGA Championship at Wentworth in May.

Molinari went on to secure the European Tour’s Race to Dubai title and, earlier in December, he was named European Tour Golfer of the Year.

“It’s unreal, to be honest,” said Molinari of his award.

“I’m super proud to be here tonight. There are so many inspirational sporting stories. It gives us more motivation for next season.”

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He topped an online public vote to win the Sports Personality award, beating three other shortlisted nominees: US gymnast Simone Biles, Czech skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecka, and Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk.

Molinari is the first Italian to win the World Sport Star of the Year award – which was formerly known as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year – and is the first golfer to win it since Tiger Woods in 2000.

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Indonesian Masters: Justin Rose misses world number one spot by one stroke

Justin Rose

Indonesian Masters, final leaderboard
-20 P Saksansin (Tha); -17 J Janewattananond (Tha); -15 P Pittayarat (Tha) -14 H Stenson (Swe).
Selected others: -11 S Kapur (Ind), -6 J Rose (Eng),J Catlin (US),S Jeffress (Aus); -3 S Lewton (Eng).

Justin Rose missed out on a return to the top of the world rankings by one stroke after carding the worst round of his weekend at the Indonesian Masters.

The Englishman headed into the final day knowing a top-12 finish at Royale Jakarta Golf Club would see him overtake American Brooks Koepka.

But he posted a three-over-par 75, including a triple bogey, to miss out on a tie for 12th by one shot.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin finished on 20 under par to win by three strokes.

Saksansin won from compatriot Jazz Janewattananond, with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson another three shots back on 13 under.

Rose became world number one for the first time in September, becoming the fourth Englishman to do so after Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

The Olympic champion and 2013 US Open winner lost top spot to American Dustin Johnson later that month and has since tussled with US Open and PGA Championship holder Koepka to be ranked as the world’s best.

After two rounds of 68 before a 71 on Saturday, Rose was tied for fourth at nine under par heading into Sunday’s play and looked well placed to regain top spot.

However, the 38-year-old carded two bogeys and a double bogey in his opening five holes, before briefly pulling himself back into contention with birdies either side of the turn.

Rose’s round unravelled once more at the par-five 12th, carding a triple-bogey eight and following that up with another dropped shot at 13.

He clawed three strokes back in the final five holes, closing out with successive birdies, but that was only enough to secure a tie for 17th place at six under par.

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Indonesian Masters: Justin Rose on course to be world’s number one

Justin Rose

Indonesian Masters, third-round leaderboard
-16 P Saksansin (Tha); -13 H Stenson (Swe); -10 J Janewattananond (Tha); -9 J Rose (Eng), P Pittayarat (Tha)
Selected others: -8 S Kapur (Ind), J Premsirigorn (Tha), S Yongcharoenchai; -1 S Lewton (Eng);

England’s Justin Rose remains on course to become world number one again as he heads into the final round of the Indonesian Masters in a tie for fourth.

Rose needs a top-12 finish at Royale Jakarta Golf Club to overtake Brooks Koepka at the top of the rankings.

The 38-year-old added to back-to-back rounds of 68 with a one-under-par 71 on Saturday after a birdie at the 18th.

He sits seven shots off Thailand’s Poom Saksansin, who leads by three strokes from Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Rose became world number one for the first time in September, becoming just the fourth Englishman to do so after Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

The Olympic champion and 2013 US Open winner lost top spot to Dustin Johnson later that month and has since tussled with US Open and PGA Championship holder Koepka to be ranked as the world’s best.

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Open champion Molinari named European Tour Golfer of the Year

Francesco Molinari

Open Champion Francesco Molinari has been named European Tour Golfer of the Year.

The 36-year-old Italian was a hero of Europe’s Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Le Golf National in September.

Molinari also won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, holding off Rory McIlroy to secure victory.

But it was his triumph two months later at Carnoustie that set him apart from his other European Tour rivals.

Molinari was the first player from the home team to win all five matches in the Ryder Cup.

He was unflappably immaculate in a bogey-free final round 69 as he repelled a high quality chasing pack that included playing partner Tiger Woods, McIlroy, Justin Rose and US star Xander Schauffele.

After claiming that first major title, Molinari went on to secure the European Tour’s Race to Dubai title to cap the best year of his career.

“It is a huge honour to be named the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year,” he said.

“So many great names have earned this honour and I feel very proud to join them.

“It is an award that means a lot to me and is a nice way to end a very special year. Winning at Wentworth, in one of our biggest events, gave me a lot of confidence for the summer.”

“But obviously winning the Open at Carnoustie, becoming my country’s first major champion, was incredible.

“To then go on to win the Race to Dubai and be part of that European Ryder Cup team in France was amazing. I’ll always look back on this season and be proud of what happened.”

European Tour Chief Executive, Keith Pelley, said: “It is right that we pay special tribute to Francesco Molinari who repeatedly made history this year.

“Francesco is not just a phenomenal golfer, he is a wonderful person too and throughout this season he consistently reminded us what a magnificent ambassador he is for our game.”

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McDowell & Grillo finish second in Florida

2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell is now 231st in the world rankings

QBE Shootout final-round leaderboard
-30 P Kizzire & B Harman; -29 G McDowell & E Grillo; -28 L List & C Howell III, K Na & B DeChambeau, G Woodland & C Hoffman; -27 B Watson & H Varner III; -23 T Finau & L Thompson; Selected others: -20 L Donald & A Landry
Full leaderboard

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and team-mate Emiliano Grillo finished second to Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman in the QBE Shootout in Florida.

McDowell and his Argentine partner, who started the final round tied for the lead, combined for a 10-under-par 62 in Sunday’s fourball format.

They finished on 29 under, a shot behind Americans Kizzire and Harman, who won with a 61.

LPGA star Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau were seventh on 23 under after a 65.

Luke List and Charles Howell III (61), Kevin Na and Bryson DeChambeau (62), and Gary Woodland and Charlie Hoffman (63) tied for third on 28 under.

McDowell and Grillo picked up three shots on the front nine and put together a run of seven straight birdies from the 11th.

They carded an opening 59 under the scramble format and followed it up with a 66 in Saturday’s foursomes.

An eagle at the par-five 17th saw Kizzire and Harman go top of the leaderboard, and a par at the 18th was enough for victory.

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Tears of a champion – Emotional Oosthuizen wins home Open in South Africa

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen was reduced to tears after claiming a record-equalling six-shot victory at the South African Open in Johannesburg.

The 2010 Open champion carded an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys on Sunday for a 67 on the final round to finish the week on 18 under par.

It is the first time Oosthuizen has won his home Open.

Matt Wallace was in with an outside chance ahead of the final day but the Englishman finished 10 shots behind.

Oliver Wilson finished in a tie for third on 10 under par, after carding 67 in the final round.

“I knew today was either going to be very special or heartbreaking,” said Oosthuizen.

“I wish my family was here.

“The crowd was great this whole week, and it was nice to do it for them.”

Oosthuizen, who was forced to withdraw from August’s PGA Championship just before his tee time due to a back problem, added: “I have been through injuries but my family and friends have been great.”

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Rahm wins in Bahamas as Rose misses out on world number one spot

Jon Rahm in the final round at the Hero World Challenge

Hero World Challenge final leaderboard
-20 J Rahm (Spa); -16 T Finau (US); -15 J Rose (Eng); -14 H Stenson (Swe); -13 P Cantlay (US), R Fowler (US); -12 D Johnson (US); -11 A Noren (Swe), X Schauffele (US), G Woodland (US)
-10 P Reed (US); -8 B DeChambeau (US), J Thomas (US), B Watson (US); -6 K Bradley (US); -5 J Day (Aus); -1 T Woods (US); level H Matsuyama (Jpn)

Spaniard Jon Rahm recorded seven birdies to win the Hero World Challenge by four strokes in the Bahamas.

Rahm, who led overnight with Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson, posted a bogey-free seven-under 65 to finish on 20 under.

Britain’s Justin Rose was in sight of the world number one spot after a 65 but Finau denied him with a birdie at the last for sole possession of second.

Tournament host Tiger Woods was 17th in the 18-man field after a closing 73 left him at one under.

Rose, 38, who was five shots off the lead in a share of eighth going into the final round, holed a putt from off the green at the 11th for his fourth birdie of the day.

He sank a 15-footer to eagle the 15th and birdied the par-three 17th from five feet, but saw another birdie chance from 12 feet, for a round of 64, finish on the edge of the cup.

Needing a three-way share of second place to regain the top spot he first earned in September, it left him in sole possession of the runner-up spot at that stage after Finau made a double bogey at the 14th.

But the American picked up two shots in the closing four holes to ensure that compatriot Brooks Koepka, who was not playing this week, remained at the top of the rankings as Rose finished third.

Big-hitting Rahm, the first Spaniard to play in the 20-year history of the event, moved ahead after four birdies in his opening nine holes in Albany.

The 24-year-old world number eight, part of Europe’s triumphant Ryder Cup team in September, wrapped up his third individual title of the year, the sixth of his burgeoning career.

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Finau, Rahm and Stenson share Bahamas lead, Tiger Woods last

Tony Finau

Hero World Challenge third-round leaderboard
-13 T Finau (US), H Stenson (Swe), J Rahm (Spa); -11 G Woodland (US); -10 R Fowler (US); -9 X Schauffele (US), D Johnson (US); -8 P Reed (US), J Rose (Eng), A Noren (Swe); -6 J Thomas (US)
-5 B Watson (US), P Cantlay (US); -4 B DeChambeau (US), K Bradley (US); -3 J Day (Aus), H Matsuyama (Jpn); -2 T Woods (US)

American Tony Finau, Spaniard Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson of Sweden share the lead on 13 under after day three of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Finau, who shot six birdies in a five-under 67, had the best round of a group who are two clear of Gary Woodland.

Englishman Justin Rose, requiring a top-three finish to return to world number one, is in a three-way share of eighth, five strokes back, after a 68.

Tournament host Tiger Woods is bottom of the 18-man field, 11 off the lead.

Woods dropped three shots in the first three holes but also had five birdies in his 72.

Big-hitting Rahm, the world number eight, who led overnight with Stenson, was eight feet from the pin in two at the 547-yard par five 15th but his eagle putt spun out of the hole.

His birdie effort from the fringe grass at the last suffered the same fate as he finished with a round of 69.

Rose had four birdies in the final seven holes, pitching to three feet at the 17th.

Sweden’s Alex Noren went even closer at the 181-yard par-three, holing his nine-iron tee shot.

The ball pitched a foot short of the flag and it trickled into the cup, completing a remarkable run of eagle, triple bogey, ace in three holes for the world number 18, who is level with Rose at eight under.

World number three Dustin Johnson dropped four strokes in the first two holes, with a triple bogey at the par-three second after two successive shots rolled back down the slope to his feet.

He responded with four birdies in seven holes but finished with a 72 to sit on nine under.

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Rahm & Stenson lead in Bahamas as Woods avoids penalty

Jon Rahm

Hero World Challenge second-round leaderboard
-10 J Rahm (Spa), H Stenson (Swe); -9 D Johnson (USA), P Cantlay (USA); -8 T Finau (USA); -6 G Woodland (USA), A Noren (Swe); -5 R Fowler (USA)
-4 K Bradley (USA), J Rose (Eng), J Thomas (USA); -3 X Schauffele (USA), B DeChambeau (USA); -2 T Woods (USA), H Matsuyama (Jpn), B Watson (USA), P Reed (USA); -1 J Day (Aus)

Spaniard Jon Rahm fired a nine-under 63 to share the halfway lead at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

The 24-year-old world number eight was joined at 10 under by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who posted a 66.

Englishman Justin Rose, seeking a top-three finish to return to world number one, had seven birdies in a 70 and is six shots off the lead.

Tournament host Tiger Woods avoided penalty after a controversial scoop out of a bush and finished two under.

Woods was five under for his round when his tee shot at the last finished under a palmetto bush and he attempted an escape while kneeling in the sand.

Replays showed the ball stayed on the clubface during the shot, but after lengthy discussions, rules officials decided against giving a penalty.

“I didn’t feel like I violated any rules,” said Woods, who finished up with a double bogey. “I was trying to play a shot but the rules committee said they may have been a violation. I didn’t feel like I hit it twice but under super slow-mo you could see I made contact twice.”

The PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competitions, Mark Russell, said: “We had to look at high-speed, slow-motion video to determine that the ball probably did stay on the clubface a little too long. But there was no way he could’ve known that.”

Explaining the rules under, Russell added: “Basically, if the player didn’t know he did that [hit it twice] and the only way you can tell is by using this type of slow-motion technology, he’s exempt from the rules, so there’s no penalty there.”

From 1 January players will not be penalised for an accidental double-hit.

There is no cut in the elite 18-man field, which features 14 of the world’s top 20 and nine major winners.

One of those, world number three Dustin Johnson, is only one off the lead after five birdies in six holes on the back nine in a round of 67.

Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge

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Hero World Challenge: Patrick Cantlay & Patrick Reed three ahead, Tiger Woods eight back

Patrick Reed in round one action at the Hero World Challenge

Hero World Challenge first-round leaderboard
-7 P Cantlay (US), P Reed (US); -4 H Stenson (Swe), D Johnson (US); -3 A Noren (Swe), B Watson (US); -2 J Rose (Eng), J Thomas (US), B DeChambeau (US); -1 K Bradley (US), J Rahm (Spa), J Day (Aus)
Level T Finau (US), G Woodland (US), R Fowler (US); +1 T Woods (US), X Schauffele (US); +2 H Matsuyama (Jpn)

Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed lead the Hero World Challenge by three shots after seven-under 65s, as tournament host Tiger Woods opened with a 73.

Cantlay birdied five of the last six holes in the Bahamas, while fellow American Reed recorded eight birdies.

Englishman Justin Rose, needing a top-three finish to return to world number one, is five back after a mixed 70.

Woods can regain a place in the top 10 with victory this week and had four birdies, but also a triple bogey.

The American, who was 1,199 in the world rankings during this tournament a year ago, won his first tournament for five years in September with a two-shot victory at the Tour Championship.

Playing in his first event since failing to win a point at the Ryder Cup, he was level par playing the par-three 12th when his chip from the rough on the left rolled back down the slope past his feet and trickled into the water, resulting in a six.

With top-ranked Brooks Koepka not playing this week, world number two Rose played a majestic wood to two feet to eagle the 11th and reach three under but also had problems at the 12th, where he made a double bogey.

Masters champion Reed joined Cantlay at the top of the leaderboard after pitching to three feet to birdie the 16th and then added another with a curling 12-foot effort at the last.

The 18-man field at the Albany course features 14 of the world’s top 20, with five former world number ones and nine major champions.

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