Oct 25, 2016: Francesco Molinari’s second victory in the Italian Open, where he edged a titanic tussle with Danny Willett in the final round, has earned him the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month award for September.
Despite some stiff competition – most notably from Dutchman Joost Luiten, who won his national Open the week prior to Molinari’s triumph – the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month panel gave the Italian the nod.
The pair proceeded to trade birdies like a pair of prize fighters on a thrilling final day in Monza, and after a miraculous recovery shot from the trees on the 72nd hole, Molinari eventually managed to see off his playing partner by a single stroke.
Molinari receives Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite Status – the highest tier of the hotel’s renowned loyalty scheme – for winning the Golfer of the Month of the award ahead of Luiten and Alex Noren, who were voted second and third by a selection panel of golf writers.
Molinari said: “I will remember that last round forever. The crowds were amazing, me and Danny played some great golf and the cheers when I won were unbelievable. Winning my home Open for the second time probably meant even more to me than the first time, because there was a lot of expectation and pressure on me, so I didn’t want to let anyone down.
“It’s going to be nice to put the Golfer of the Month award next to my Italian Open trophy, so thank you to the panel for choosing me, and to Hilton for sponsoring the award. It means a lot to me.”
Luiten finished runner-up courtesy of his emotional win in the KLM Open, held at The Dutch. Luiten went into the final day three shots behind Scott Hend, but surged through the field with a stunning closing round of 63 to equal the course record and claim his fifth European Tour title.
The Golfer of the Month panel chose Noren in third place after the Swede’s victory in the Omega European Masters.
HHonors Diamond Elite Status will provide Molinari with a host of fantastic benefits at 4,600 hotels within the Hilton portfolio around the world, including complimentary access to Executive Floors, late checkouts, 48-hour room guarantees and, pending availability, complimentary room upgrades.
Hilton, the Official Hotel Supplier to The European Tour, is the Official Sponsor of the European Tour Golfer of the Month award, which recognises and rewards the best performances of European Tour members each month.
European Tour Release