After a thrilling Open Sunday, it was Francesco Molinari who was crowned the 'Champion Golfer of the Year'
Molinari’s cool, calm and collected final round 69 makes him the first Italian to ever win the Open Championship and the first to claim a major title.
Interestingly, the 35-year-old’s victory makes it three major wins in a row for former Nike staff players, following Patrick Reed at The Masters and Brooks Koepka’s successful US Open title defence last month.
Although he is a pretty much a free agent, Molinari’s bag consists largely of TaylorMade equipment. Renowned for his precision and accuracy off the tee, at the beginning of this year he decided to put TaylorMade’s M4 driver in the bag, as well as a strongly lofted M3 3-wood.
At the beginning of the week, like most of his fellow competitors, he opted to put a driving iron in the bag after taking out his normal 5-wood. The low and powerful trajectory of TaylorMade’s P790 2-iron UDI was perfectly suited to the firm and fast conditions at Carnoustie.
Molinari finished in a tie for 25th in Greens in stats, finding the putting surface 66.7% of the time with his TaylorMade P750 irons. His short game was also solid throughout the week. He went the entire weekend without dropping a shot and managed to get up and down 17 times throughout the four rounds.
He currently has TaylorMade’s Milled Grind wedges in the bag, as well as the Milled Grind Hi-Toe, also used by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Jon Rahm.
Notably, at the end of last year, Molinari signed a deal with American putter specialists Bettinardi. Since switching to his current Double Aged Stainless Steel (DASS) BBZero Tour putter before the Players Championship in May, the Italian has been in scintillating form, claiming victory at the BMW PGA Championship and achieving his first PGA Tour title at the Quicken Loans National earlier this month.
Having once been seen as the weakest part of his game, Molinari’s putting is now one of his strengths – and he has the Claret Jug to prove it.
Playing with the Titleist Pro V1x, the Italian’s win makes it six majors in a row for Titleist. Titleist was also the No.1 ball of choice among the field at Carnoustie, with 70% of the golfers using either the Pro V1 or Pro V1x.
Francesco Molinari – What’s in the bag
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (8.5˚; Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Pro White 60X shaft),
3-wood: TaylorMade M3 (13˚; Aldila XTorsion Green 70X shaft)
Irons: TaylorMade P790 UDI (2), TaylorMade P790 (4; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft), TaylorMade P750 (5-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (50˚, 56˚; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (60˚; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft)
Putter: Bettinardi DASS BBZero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Apparel & shoes: Nike
Grips: Lamkin TS1