Dec 17th, 2018
Francesco Molinari wins
BBC World Sports Personality of the Year
Francesco Molinari has won the World Sport Star of the Year at the BBC's Sports Personality show, and deservedly so after a remarkable 2018 season.
The 36-year-old kicked off his season with victory at the BMW PGA Championship in May, before going on to claim his first ever Major victory with his win at the Open Championship in Carnoustie, when he also became the first ever Italian to win it.
And back on the heels of that it was Ryder Cup time, and wins in all his five matches, with his amazing partnership with Tommy Fleetwood.
Next on the agenda was his successful bid for the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, which was soon followed by being named European Tour Golfer of the Year.
"It's unreal, to be honest," said Molinari of his award.
"I'm super proud to be here tonight. There are so many inspirational sporting stories. It gives us more motivation for next season."
He won his accolade by topping an online public vote, beating three other shortlisted nominees: US gymnast Simone Biles, Czech skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecka, and Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk.
Molinari is the first Italian to win the World Sport Star of the Year award - formerly known as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year - and is the first golfer to win it since Tiger Woods back in 2000.
It was all the love that golf was going to get during the evening. There was a brief acknowledgement of Georgia Bingham, and a few words from Tommy Fleetwood, but that was your lot, despite Europe pasting the Americans 17 ½ to 10 ½.