On Sunday we bore witness to one of the great final round performances on the PGA Tour in 2018. Eventual Quicken Loans National champion Francesco Molinari put together a brilliant Sunday to clinch PGA Tour win.
With the pack giving chase, Molinari poured it on — posting an incredible, course record-tying 62 to pull away and win by eight strokes over Ryan Armour and nine over Sung Kang, Abraham Ancer and Tiger Woods.
The win may have been his first on this side of the pond, but Molinari is no stranger to success. His triumph at TPC Potomac Avenel Farm on Sunday was the 6th of his career between the U.S. PGA and European Tours — and his second world-wide in 2018.
While Molinari was busy carving up the course and burying his opponents, there were plenty of other players who found themselves somewhere between the Italian talent and Martin Pillar — who finished DFL, missing the cut after rounds of 78 and 76 left hims at 14-over for the first two rounds.
Here’s a look at those who pulled there weight at the Quicken Loans National — and who took the ship down with them:
Francesco Molinari — What’s not to love about the performance of Francesco Molinari last week in Maryland? Molinari opened his week of work with a round of 67 on Thursday before dueling rounds of 65 had him sleeping on the 54-hole lead. With some of the world’s best in hot pursuit, Molinari matched the course record with the aforementioned final round 62. Molinari is now the 17th ranked player in the world and has been showing some excellent form. It’s time to seriously consider him as a weekly option wherever he tees it up.
Tiger Woods — Hard to argue with Tiger Woods this week. In the excessive heat that blanketed the mid-Atlantic states over the last four or five days, Woods and his fused back held up. Better, in fact, than most would’ve expected. Like so many others, Woods’ week was derailed by one bad round. After opening with a mundane round of even-par 70 on Thursday, Tiger shot 65-68-66 and put together some classic Tiger moments to give fans a charge. Unfortunately, his came up fairly short.
Beau Hossler — My pick to win it all last week was Beau Hossler. Unfortunately for me, the Texas product fell just short. That said, he still enjoyed a solid fantasy week on the shores of the Potomac. Hossler played great all week — except for Saturday. On Saturday, Hossler was nothing short of OK en route to a 1-over 71. Of course, he followed that up with a final-round 68 to finish the week at 10-under — but the Saturday stumble keeps Beau and I wondering what might’ve been.
Joaquin Niemann — Heading into the Quicken Loans National, my sleeper pick was Joaquin Niemann. Why? Because the kid had been Katy Perry’s worst nightmare. He was hot (three top-10 finishes) then cold (three missed cuts) in his first six PGA Tour starts as a pro. I figured he’d either get fat or starve — instead, he played steady golf all week and collected his first middle of the pack finish of his PGA Tour career — a 6-under T-17 finish. That said — and sticking with the roller coaster theme — Niemann looked poised to be a contender on the weekend — but a 4-over 74 on Saturday squashed any notion of that.
J.B. Holmes — A week after impressing and contending at the Travelers Championship, J.B. Holmes was a fantasy disappointment at the Quicken Loans National. After opening with rounds of 73 and 70 on Thursday and Friday, Holmes was sent home early, missing the cut by a single stroke. Holmes has had an up-and-down year to say the least and, from a fantasy standpoint, remains a question mark.
Sam Saunders — Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders comes from great stock and had plenty of ability — but consistency on the PGA Tour has eluded him. In 20 starts in 2018, Saunders has made less than 50% of his cuts. However, when he makes the cut, he’s usually pretty good. Saunders has two top-10 finishes and three top-25’s in those 9 events. Like Holmes, Saunders is one of these players who needs to get their stuff together before we can start to trust them on a week in, week out basis.