|Francesco Molinari was voted the European Tour’s Player of the Year for 2018. - AFP Photo|Viet Nam News
LONDON — Francesco Molinari won the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year award on Monday to cap a memorable 2018 for the Italian.
Molinari became the first Italian to win a major when he clinched the British Open at Carnoustie earlier this year.
That triumph followed his victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and a maiden PGA Tour title in the Quicken Loans National.
The 36-year-old was also the first European player to compile a perfect 5-0 record in the Ryder Cup as he won his singles match in the hosts’ victory over the United States, having already teamed up with Tommy Fleetwood to become the first European pair to win all four of their matches together.
Molinari rounded off a remarkable year by becoming the first Italian to win the Race to Dubai last month, holding off Masters champion Patrick Reed and 2017 Race to Dubai champion Fleetwood to finish the year as the European Tour’s number one.
Molinari is a first-time winner of the prestigious Golfer of the Year award, which is decided by a panel of golfing media.
"It is a huge honour to be named the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year," Molinari said after receiving the award in London on Monday.
"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." — AFP