It doesn't sound real – Molinari stunned by 2018 exploits

Francesco Molinari says he accomplished more than he ever dreamed of in an “incredible” season after winning a maiden Race to Dubai title.

Tommy Fleetwood’s failure to win the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday meant Molinari was crowned the European Tour’s number one.

Molinari finished in a share of 26th place in Dubai, where Danny Willett ended a two-year title drought, but lifted another trophy after becoming the first Italian to win the Race to Dubai.

The amiable Turin native won his first major with an Open triumph at Carnoustie in July, before going on to make Ryder Cup history by becoming the first European to win all five points in the victory over the United States at Le Golf National.

Molinari also won the BMW PGA Championship and the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National in a stellar year, so it is no wonder he is ready for a period of reflection after adding yet another honour.

“It’s incredible,” said Molinari. “Now I’m going to have time to sit down and relax and really think back about the last few months.

“This morning on the first tee the announcement is the winner of The Open Championship, Race to Dubai leader, it doesn’t sound real at the moment.

“It’s more than I ever dreamed of achieving. I’ve seen guys that I think are better players than me not winning majors and not winning Order of Merits or Race to Dubais. To achieve those things in one single season is just incredible.”

The only downside for Molinari was that he beat his close friend Fleetwood.

“We’ve been doing very well this year when it comes to the challenges. I never won a Ryder Cup match and I won five out of five. Carnoustie was really not my favourite place, to say the least, before this year, and I go there and win.” he added.

“It’s tough in a way because it would have been probably easier in a way to play against anyone else but him [Fleetwood]. I know how talented he is and I really thought at some point he was going to win it and put me in a tough spot.

“He’s obviously a great guy and a super-talented player and I’m sure being younger than me, he’s going to win a few more Race to Dubais.”