04.06.2018 - Thorbjørn Olesen claimed a maiden Rolex Series victory at the Italian Open after a thrilling final round battle with Francesco Molinari and Lee Slattery. Olesen holds off Molinari to complete Italian job

The 28 year old Dane needed a par at the last to secure his fifth European Tour title after home favourite Molinari sent the crowd wild with a birdie from 30 feet on the final hole, but the Dane made an excellent up and down from a greenside bunker to complete a final round 64 and 22 under par total. That was one ahead of last week's Wentworth winner Molinari, with overnight leader Slattery third on 20 under at Gardagolf Country Club.


Thorbjørn Olesen claimed a maiden Rolex Series victory. © ET / Getty Images

A bogey-free final round handed Thorbjørn Olesen his biggest win of his career and the largest prize fund, with the 1,166,660 Race to Dubai points moving him to sixth position in the year-long Rankings. The win also gives Olesen a boost in his hopes of making a maiden Ryder Cup appearance this September in Thomas Bjørn’s European team- with points earned in Rolex Series events multiplied by 1.5 - he now sits fifth in the European Points List and just outside the projected automatic qualification spots. He said: “Unbelievable. Obviously been a little bit of a tough time for me this year. Yeah, to come into this Rolex Series and to do what I've done is amazing, especially to come-from-behind and win. I haven't done that in my career so far, so that was very special." Francesco Molinari settled with his second place: “I'm super happy to be honest. It's been an amazing week. I think I'll never forget the run of birdies today on the back nine. Well done to Thorbjørn, he's done great today and yesterday. A great winner for the Italian Open." Lee Slattery signed for a final round 67, with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello's 66 enough for fourth on 18 under. Ryder Cup vice captains Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell produced final rounds of 63 and 64 respectively to share fifth with England’s Andy Sullivan.