Francesco Molinari is on a mission after Masters disappointment

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari
Share this article

Francesco Molinari will look to put his Masters disappointment behind him with a second PGA Tour title of the season in the RBC Heritage.

Molinari took a two-shot lead into the final round and was still two ahead with seven holes to play, only to hit his tee shot on the daunting par-three 12th into Rae’s Creek to run up a double bogey.

The Open champion responded with a birdie at the next and was part of a five-way tie at the top of the leaderboard until he again found the water with his approach to the par-five 15th to card another double bogey, eventually settling for a share of fifth place.

Molinari, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March, has made the short journey to Hilton Head for an event which awards a tartan, rather than green jacket to the winner and is joined by three other players who had the chance to triumph at Augusta National.

Patrick Cantlay, who only made the cut with a shot to spare, followed a third round of 64 with five birdies and an eagle in his first 15 holes on Sunday to briefly claim the lead, only to bogey the next two holes.

World number one Dustin Johnson birdied four of his last six holes in the final round but missed from 15 feet for another on the 18th and ultimately finished a shot behind winner Tiger Woods.

Xander Schauffele finished alongside Johnson in a share of second place after being unable to birdie any of the last four holes and admitted a lack of experience at Augusta potentially cost him on the closing stretch.

“It was like a dream. I’ve said it before and it really was,” the 25-year-old told a pre-tournament press conference. “It’s only my second Masters and I definitely jumped into that scene a little faster than I thought I would, to be completely honest.

“It’s a property where Tiger said himself it definitely helps to know where to miss it.

“ And there were a lot of different pins that people haven’t seen in the past just because the greens were a bit softer.”

“Tiger creates the atmosphere. So every bit of the Masters that I watched growing up was always with him in it or in the hunt and he just creates this environment with the fans and the crowds that are just unmatched.

“So for him to do what he did, put a little extra pressure on everyone else and for me to enjoy that chase at the end was really cool.”