Molinari runs away at National

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By DOUG FERGUSON    |    The Associated Press

Molinari runs away at National which gives him a two-year exemption and moved him to No. 42 in the FedEx Cup.

“That’s what I came here for,” Molinari said. “It was not easy to skip Paris and the French Open. I made the right decision.”

Molinari previously won the HSBC Champions in 2010, a World Golf Championships event in Shanghai. But that was before the PGA Tour recognized it as an official victory unless a PGA Tour member had won the tournament.

That victory was a lot like this one — a master performance by a player who relies on his tee-to-green game and thrives when the putter is hot. And the putter was as scorching as weather that approached 100 degrees.

Molinari beat Lee Westwood by one shot, and no one else was closer than 10 shots in Shanghai. This time, he had the course to himself with a back nine that was close to perfection, much like his week. Molinari missed only 10 greens in regulation over 72 holes.

Not many people saw it. Thousands were following Woods all week, even in the oppressive heat over the weekend.

Woods came to live with a pair of birdies late on the front nine, and he was in range to get even closer when he hit a lob wedge to 6 feet on No. 10. He missed the putt. He missed the 13th fairway and took bogey for the second straight day. And then he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 14.

“Those are things that I can’t afford to do and expect to win a golf tournament,” Woods said.

Woods served as the tournament host when the PGA Tour stayed in Washington in 2007 down the road at Congressional, a tournament with a mission of honoring military around the Fourth of July. It lost AT&T as a title sponsor, Quicken Loans stepped in for 2014, and then the Detroit-based company chose not to renew the contract, instead putting its sponsorship behind a new tournament in Detroit that starts next year.

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