The Masters: Francesco Molinari reflects on where it went wrong at Augusta
Molinari accepts mistakes at 12 and 15 but pays tribute to "deserving" champion Woods
By Keith Jackson at Augusta National
Last Updated: 14/04/19 10:24pm
Francesco Molinari put on a brave face as he reflected on his "costly mental lapses" which took him out of the running for the Masters title on a dramatic Sunday at Augusta.
Molinari scrambled hard on the front nine to maintain his overnight lead, making a number of clutch up-and-downs for par while hitting back from his first bogey in 50 holes at the seventh with a birdie at the eighth.
The Italian looked to have the tournament under control around the turn until he suddenly opened the door for Tiger Woods and the chasing pack when he dumped his tee shot into the water at the short 12th and, after getting one shot back at 13, his pitch at the 15th clipped a tree and landed in the middle of the pond as he carded his second double-bogey in four holes.
Those errors left him too far back to prevent Woods claiming a remarkable fifth Masters victory and a 15th major championship, with Molinari limping home in 74 to finish two shots off the pace on 11 under par.
WATCH: Molinari's Masters mistakes
Francesco Molinari's Masters hopes were dashed by two double-bogeys on the back nine
"I managed to scramble well on the front nine and I think I just had a couple of mental lapses on the back nine that were costly," said Molinari, who admitted his first error at the 12th was "just a bad execution."
"I think we picked the right shot and just didn't hit it hard enough, as simple as that. And it was tough today with the wind gusting, but it is what it is. I was trying to hit a chippy eight‑iron. It was probably a nine‑iron yardage but I didn't want the wind to gust and to get the ball too much and I just didn't hit it hard enough.
"I think it wasn't my day today. That ball on 12, if it's one yard further left it probably goes in the bunker and the third shot on 15, it could easily not have clipped the tree and sometimes it is your day, sometimes it isn't, but I'm really happy of the way I felt out there.
"I was calm, collected, never panicked, even after the first double-bogey, and I'll learn a lot I think from today. Obviously I've done a couple of things that I wish I had done differently now, but I'll learn from my mistakes."
Wonderful Woods wins Masters
Tiger Woods stormed to a blockbusting Masters victory on one of the most dramatic, and earliest, finishes in Augusta National history.
Molinari was also magnanimous in his praise for Woods, who took full advantage of his playing-partners mistakes and reeled off three birdies in four holes from the 13th before closing out a momentous win amid jubilant scenes on and around the 18th green.
"It's great to see Tiger doing well but the way he was playing last year I think we all knew it was coming sooner or later," said Molinari, who got the better of Woods three times during his record-breaking Ryder Cup exploits at Le Golf National last year.
"Maybe next time it will be better for me, but it was nice to be out with him. He played very well, he hit the right shots at the right time and deserved to win."
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