10 Things you missed: Tour wins, Molinari's two awards, Rose comes up short of World No.1 and 3 of the best shots of the week

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10 Things you missed: Tour victories; Molinari wins two awards; Rose fails to return to World No.1; Mel Reid comes out as gay and three of the best shots of the week


Francesco Molinari wins SPOTY World Sport Star award

Molinari topped an online vote to beat out US gymnast Simone Biles, Czech skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecka, and Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk as he became the first golfer to claim the BBC Sports Personality of the Year World Sport Star award since Tiger Woods in 2000.

Molinari made history earlier this year as he became the first Italian major winner at the 147th Open at Carnoustie, before a flawless Ryder Cup performance saw him become the first ever European player to win 5/5 matches.

Adding to his list of accolades in 2018 was his first ever PGA Tour victory and a win at the European Tour's flagship BMW PGA Championship, all culminating in him claiming the European Tour's season long Race to Dubai crown.

"It's unreal, to be honest," said Molinari of the award.

"I'm super proud to be here tonight. There are so many inspirational sporting stories. It gives us more motivation for next season."

Justin Rose five-putts, fails to return to World No.1 by one stroke

Justin Rose missed out on returning to the World No.1 spot by a single stroke at the Indonesian Masters on Sunday and was left to rue a costly five-putt on the 12th hole. 

The Englishman needed to finish in a tie for 12th place in order to overtake Brooks Koepka, but a three-over final round 75 left him in a tie for 17th - one shot shy of getting back to the No.1 spot. 

Rose, who was the defending champion, started the final round in a tie for fourth but got off to a nightmare bogey, double-bogey start before adding a further dropped shot on the fifth to end up four over after just five holes. It briefly began to look up as he recovered two shots with back-to-back birdies around the turn, but a five-putt from the fringe of the 12th hole for triple bogey and a follow-up bogey on 13 ended up completely derailing his round. 

He did manage to claw back three birdies over his final five holes, including back-to-back gains from the 17th, but it wouldn't be enough to finish better than tied 17th - 14 shots behind eventual winner Poom Saksansin. 

It means that Koepka, who won both the U.S Open and PGA Championship in 2018, will end the year as World No.1.

"Even if I made an eagle on the last and became the world number one, I would not have been proud of it given how I played," said Rose.

"It was a very hard day. It was a shame to finish the year that way for sure, but I obviously don't want to let today change things.

"I gave it a courageous finish. I never give up and I take pride in that coming down the stretch.

"No matter if you are number one in the world or number 300, these are the moments you have to take and use as fuel. I will reflect and learn and use it as motivation."

David Lipsky wins Alfred Dunhill Championship by two shots 

David Lipsky overcame a late wobble to claim the final European Tour event of 2018 by two shots over Scotland's David Drysdale on Sunday during his first visit to Leopard Creek GC. 

The 30-year-old American began the final round a stroke behind Scott Jamieson, but quickly joined the lead with two back-to-back opening birdies. He pushed ahead further when Jamieson dropped three shots on the third and fifth holes, and briefly extended his lead to six shots with an excellent approach shot to the 10th hole. 

Behind him was home favourite Zander Lombard, who managed to cut the lead down to one shot when Lipsky bogeyed the 12th and dropped two shots on the 15th, but a triple-bogey on 16 ended his shot at the title. 

Up ahead, Drysdale posted the clubhouse target of 67, but Lipsky recovered with a final-hole birdie on the par-five 18th to finish two shots clear of the Scot with a four-under 68. 

For Lipsky, whose victory was his first on the European Tour since 2014, struggled to post just a singular top 10 last season and finished outside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai, the victory was 'indescribable'. 

"It's indescribable actually," he said. "Winning is what we all hope to do, it's what we practise for, it's what we all put the time in for - the blood, sweat and tears.

"This was a tough year for me. I haven't played that well and have really struggled. To cap it off with a win at the end of the year is so special and I'm really looking forward to big things in 2019."

Poom Saksansin, Thailand's 'Smiling Assasin', wins BNI Indonesian Masters by three shots

Poom Saksansin picked up his second win at the Indonesian Masters in three years with a three shot victory over compatriot Jazz Janewattananond. 

The 25-year-old held a three shot lead over Henrik Stenson, who he famously got the better of in the EurAsian Cup singles matches earlier this year, heading in to the final round, and quickly extended his advantage with back-to-back birdies. 

He added a third gain at the sixth and another at the 10th to move comfortably ahead, with  Janewattananond the only player to really come close thanks to a round which included six birdies and two eagles. 

Saksansin made his only bogey of the round on the par-three 15th, but recovered with a birdie on the 17th to ensure a three shot victory and his third win on the Asian Tour. Meanwhile, Stenson could only manage a one-under 71 and fell back to fourth, one shot behind Panuphol Pittayarat, who carded an six-under 66, 

"I am really so proud to have won here again. I love the golf course and I am so happy that I got a chance to play with Stenson," said Saksansin, whose third Asian Tour victory sees him move from world No. 239th to a career best ranking of 140. 

Roger Chapman claimed his first title in over six years at the MCB Tour Championship in the Seychelles on Sunday, beating out Phillip Price on the first playoff hole 

It was an emotional moment for double senior major champion Roger Chapman as he put himself back in the winners' circle on Sunday by capturing the final tournament of the Staysure Tour season - which was the historic first-ever professional golf event in the Seychelles.

The 59-year-old from Berkshire did it in style, and was unable to hold back the tears after holing out for eagle on the first playoff hole to win for the first time since lifting the 2012 Senior U.S Open trophy.

"I apologise for being so emotional but I haven't won in a while. Not only that but I was in a sling earlier in the year after undergoing shoulder surgery and, to be honest, I didn't think I would be here," said Chapman, who shocked the golfing world six years ago when he picked up two senior major titles.

He was sidelined for around three months earlier in the year with a shoulder problem but his form and confidence have slowly been coming back, and he finished third last week in Mauritius. 

"It's great to be the King of the Swing," he joked.

Chapman ended in a blaze of glory, his -3 score putting him in a play-off with Welsh favourite Phillip Price after both Miguel Angel Martin and American Tom Lehman blew their chances at the spectacular but highly dangerous par five 18th with the Spaniard signing off with a triple bogey.

Price briefly looked to be in the driving seat in the play-off as his second shot landed about 12ft short of the hole to present a good eagle chance, but it was Chapman who would provide the fireworks.

Chapman holed out from the fringe of the green double the distance away for an eagle of his own and Price had to settle for a birdie and second best, a shot clear of former Open Champion Lehman with Martin eventually having to share fourth spot with South African James Kingston.

“To win with an eagle is pretty special. Phil hit a great second shot and I thought ‘I’ve got to hole this’, I did and unfortunately for Phillip, he missed – but that’s golf.

“2012 was my last victory, so to be in the winners’ circle again, I’m absolutely thrilled to bits. I want to thank Paul Anderson at The Berkshire and Gary Nicol who’s helped me this year. They are part of this win.”

Francesco Molinari win 2018 Hilton European Tour golfer of the year 

Francesco Molinari has been named as the 2018 Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year
The reigning Open and Race to Dubai Champion was named by a panel comprising of members of the golfing media, capping off an impressive 12 months for the European No.1.

In that span, Molinari claimed his first Rolex Series title at the BMW PGA Championship, got his first win on the PGA Tour, became the first Italian major champion at the 147th Open Championship, won the Race to Dubai and made European Ryder Cup history by becoming the first person to win 5/5 matches.

"It is a huge honour to be named the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year," said Molinari, who received the award on Monday at the London Hilton on Park Lane. "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."

Another caddie split: Andy Sullivan has announced that he and Sean McDonagh are the latest long-time caddie-player duo to part ways in 2018

It seems to be the season for the end of caddie/player partnerships.

Just a couple of days after Zach Johnson and caddie of 15 years Damon Green confimed they had split, Andy Sullivan took to social media to announce he and long-time caddie Sean Mcdonagh have parted ways.

The reason for the split hasn't been confirmed but it appears to be very amicable: Sullivan called their time together 'a great journey' and wished him 'all the success going forward', while Mcdonagh replied thanking his former boss for 'some amazing memories and laughs', as both followed their comments with the hashtag '#alwaysfriends'.

The partnership began when the pair met in a Burger King in Manchester Airport, and has lasted through Q-School, four Open Championship appearances, the 2016 Ryder Cup and three European Tour victories at the South African Open, Joburg Open and Portugal Masters - which all came in 2015.

Since then, Sullivan has dropped from a best of World No.28 to 131st, despite recording eight top 10s on the European Tour in 2018.

It's currently unclear what the next move for either player or caddie will be, but they do join an ever-growing list of caddie and players to have separated in 2018: Brandt Snedeker/Scott Vail, Lee Westwood/Billy Foster, Lexi Thompson/Kevin McAlpine, Martin Kaymer/Craig Connelly, Henrik Stenson/Gareth Lord and Zach Johnson/Damon Green.

Mel Reid comes out as gay: "Be who you are"

Six time Ladies European Tour winner Mel Reid has come out as gay, stating that she no longer feels the need to protect her sexuality in order to 'get more sponsors'.
The Solheim Cup star bravely decided to publicly announce her coming out through a new partnership with Athlete Ally, who did a Q&A with Reid about joining the brand and her decision to talk about her sexuality.

In the Q&A, Reid talked about how important it was for her 'to always fight for equality', and why that feeling of encouraging people to be themselves influenced her decision to be more open about a topic not widely discussed in the sport.

"I wanted to be part of Athlete Ally because I feel it's important for people to be themselves," Reid said. "Just because they love someone that may not be 'socially correct', it does not make them any less of a person. It's important for me to always fight for equality."

"I protected my sexuality for a long time because I thought I had to in order to help my career and to get more sponsors. But then I started to wonder why these companies would want to sponsor me and have me represent them if I can't be my authentic self.
"There is only one of you in the world and you have one life, so be the best version of yourself and be proud of who you are. That's when you attract the right people around you to make you better, and ultimately, happier."

Read the full story here 

mel reid

Is the European Tour in trouble? European Tour chief Keith Pelley's desire to create a world tour was written about in a recent report in The Times, but it also shed light on a number of financial issues

Think things are bad on the LET? The Times has cast doubts on the financial stability of the European Tour, which made an operating loss of £9.5 million after tax in 2017. Cash reserves also dipped by more than £7 million to £9.6 million, while working capital was only £424,000. In 2015, it was £15 million.

According to the report, Tour chief Keith Pelley insists this – and a £2 million hike in wage bills – was to be expected the year before a Ryder Cup, and told The Times that profits from Paris will ensure that the four-year cycle from 2015 will be "close to break[ing] even". How close that is remains to be seen, however.

The tour's botched website relaunch, which cost £1 million, was a PR and financial disaster, while revelations that Pelley was paid more than £2.75 million in 2017 has raised more than a few eyebrows.

His position has also been questioned by Thomas Bjorn, who reacted badly to the news that Pelley has held talks on a "conceptual level" about a World Tour with Jay Monahan (the focus of The Times piece), his American counterpart at the PGA.

"The European Tour has a responsibility to protect the professional game in Europe and that is proving increasingly difficult," said Bjorn last week.

Pelley says he remains committed to “leading the global transformation of the game”, but is currently locked in a dispute with former tour pro John McHenry for trying to do just that. McHenry had previously approached Pelley with a similar idea to GolfSixes but was offered an ex gratia payment of £30,000 – which he rejected as insulting – after talks ended and Pelley decided to go it alone.

The tour has been forced to underwrite the £3 million cost of GolfSixes as a result, and could be about to take another financial hit following the decision by the Employment Tribunal to rule in favour of Scott Kelly, a former group marketing director, for unfair dismissal. If unsuccessful with its appeal, the tour will be forced to re-engage Mr Kelly and make salary back-payments, which could be substantial.

To read the full article from The Times and Pelley's ideas on a world tour, click here

3 of the Best Shots of the Week

From Oliver Wilson's driver off the deck to a hole in one from Aussie Deyen Lawson to win a BMW and one of the shots of the day from Zander Lombard