For the second time in as many weeks, Rory McIlroy suffered a bout of seconditis as he and playing partner Graeme McDowell fell short of the finish line. This time it was the Omega Mission Hills World World Cup that eluded the young Irisman’s grasp.
The Irish pair had attempted to lead the field from the front after a blistering first-round of 58 but were unable to match that opening day feat. However, a run of four consecutive birdies appeared to have consolidated their advantage over the field before bogeys on the eighth and tenth holes, coupled with pars on the ninth and eleventh holes opened the door for their challengers.
And it was the Italian pair of Franciso and Edoardo Molinari who stepped through to win the World Cup for the first time – at least in golf. The duo also became the first set of brothers to win the event and round off a memorable season for both men; one in which had seen Francisco claim nine top-10 finishes on the European Tour and Edoardo top the Challenge Tour standings.
The Swedish pairing of Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson had led the tournament in the later stages and had had chances to win. Still in front on the 18th, they found themselves with a long putt for par which cruelly lipped-out the hole leaving the Italians a three-footer to win after Franciso had produced a long greenside bunker recovery to land almost dead at the hole. Edoardo gleefully took the chance, and rolled in the winning putt to seal the historic win.
Like McIlroy, Karlsson again tasted the runners-up spot for the second time, and again it was Edoardo who pipped him to the post; Edoardo having beat Karlsson in a play-off to win the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan.
Sweden finished the tournament in a tie for second place with Ireland. England’s pair of Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher took fourth spot, while the Scots took the wooden spoon, finishing last of the 28 competing nations.