Westwood remains No1 despite Molinari victory

ITALIAN Francesco Molinari denied Lee Westwood the perfect end to his perfect week by winning the HSBC Champions in Shanghai by one shot.

Molinari held a single shot lead going into the final day and a fourth round 67 was enough to fend off Westwood, who this time last week was celebrating becoming world No1.

Two shots behind on the par-five 18th, Westwood had the chance to force a play-off but his 25-foot putt for eagle was wide of the mark.

“It was a little disappointing after hitting a five-iron into the last hole,” said Westwood. “I just needed the breaks to win and it didn’t happen. But 18-under-par and nine shots clear of third is never too bad.”

Westwood’s 27-year-old Ryder Cup team-mate Molinari said: “It wasn’t easy. I’m just really proud of the way I played and handled myself. Lee is No1 in the world, and he was playing some fantastic golf. It was a great finish at the end.”

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished third, while the deposed Tiger Woods, whose 281-week reign was ended by Westwood, finished on seven under, tied for sixth.

“Overall I felt like I’ve been hitting well and it’s just a matter of being patient,” said Woods.