FRANCESCO MOLINARI’S historic Open triumph shocked him so much he missed his flight home.
The 35-year-old ended a run of five straight Majors for Americans by becoming Italy’s first Slam winner.
Molinari said: “It is just disbelief. I had an easyJet flight at 9pm to get back home, so I think that’s gone.
“My record around here was terrible so that didn’t make me too optimistic about the week.”
And he revealed playing alongside Tiger Woods inspired him to take the Claret Jug by two shots.
Molinari, said: “In my group the attention was not really on me. If they expected a charge it was not from me but it’s been the same all my career.
“Playing with Tiger was another challenge because of the crowds but I felt really good this morning, even though my record around here was terrible before.
“There were a lot more watching in a group with him than if I had been playing with some of the other guys.
“But I have done it before, I have played with him in Ryder Cups so I knew what was coming — and was ready for it.”
At one stage the Italian was one of SIX men sharing the lead. But while the likes of Woods and defending champ Jordan Spieth fell away, Molinari shot a bogey-free 69, to finish on eight under.
Molinari, Italy’s first Open champ, is a huge pal of former West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola and a regular at Hammers games.
Now he can show them the Claret and Blue jug, after giving Europe the perfect shot in the arm ahead of September’s Ryder Cup showdown in France. Molinari’s victory makes him nailed on for the team.
It also continued an astonishing run of three wins and two seconds in six tournaments for the man from Turin.
Woods ended tied sixth on five under after shooting a level-par 71 and said: “It was a blast.”
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