Shy and retiring Francesco Molinari sweeps clean in Ryder Cup rout

For two days Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari were as inseparable as Holmes and Watson (Sherlock and the doctor, not JB and Bubba), but it was the quiet Italian who struck out boldly on his own in the ninth singles match on Sunday to create Ryder Cup history in his dignified and irresistible manner.

His 4&2 dismantling of Phil Mickelson was his fifth win of the 42nd edition of the competition, after four with Fleetwood in the fourballs and foursomes. It drew him alongside the Americans Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson (1967) and Larry Nelson (1979) by completing a sweep of all his matches – and that in the summer when he won the Open at Carnoustie. All that could surpass this high point, surely, would be for Molinari – born in Turin and for years a bona fide Londoner – to repeat the double in 2022, when the Ryder Cup goes to Italy for the first time, at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome.

At the Albatros course on a blue‑sky Sunday afternoon, he went two up after four and never looked back, playing with as much searing concentration as he did alongside Tiger Woods on their Sunday dash to the line at the Open two months ago. He also accompanied Mickelson on the closing 18 when the American shot 66 to win at Muirfield in 2013. He was no spectator this time.

A lot of water has spread over this lake-spattered course outside Versailles since then, and a lot of players have seen their shots go under. The only time Molinari got wet was under the spray of the celebration champagne his teammates dumped on his head at the end. As a West Ham supporter he cannot have been that familiar with the sensation, although he was buoyed by their win against Manchester United the previous day.

His own steady hand did not deliver the dagger, though, but came via the quivering mandibles of Mickelson, who drowned his ball off the tee on the par-three 16th. It might have been the last shot of the 48-year-old American’s record 12 appearances in the competition.

For Molinari, being part of a third Ryder Cup-winning team was “so much more than majors, more than anything”. He added: “It’s hard not to get emotional when you think about the other players, the vice‑captains, Thomas [Bjørn], the wives. It’s been an incredible week.”

As for his long-haired friend, Molinari said: “I had an amazing partner in Tommy. It never felt like I had a rookie playing alongside me.”

Attention now turns to the 2020 Ryder Cup, where the Americans will look to regain the trophy on their own turf at the Whistling Straits course in Wisconsin.

On the shore of Lake Michigan, Whistling Straits was opened in 1998, built on the site of an abandoned airfield called Camp Haven. It features two courses – the Irish and the Straits, although most significant events are played on the latter.

It has previously hosted three editions of the US PGA Championship, in 2004, 2010 and 2015. Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson there in a three-hole playoff to claim his first major in 2005. It also hosted the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2005, the collegiate equivalent of the Ryder Cup in which students from Europe and America play every year. 

Whistling Straits was named in fairly literal fashion, after Herbert V Kohler Jr, chairman of the company that owns it, was taken by the whistling winds that swept across the course during its construction. 

In guiding Europe to their sixth straight home victory, Molinari added to the trophies he shared with the winning teams of 2010 and 2012. And, singularly influential though he was at Le Golf National, he betrayed not a note of triumphalism. He represented all that is good about team sport – and, if politics might briefly be allowed to stray into the discussion – the ethic of togetherness in Europe that the Ryder Cup has championed for a quarter of a century.

Molinari expressed as much joy for the combined success of his own campaign as he did commiseration for Fleetwood, whom Tony Finau, another debutant, trounced 6&4. Fleetwood, the ebullient, free-hitter from Southport, was reaching for an unprecedented fifth win on debut but the weight of history seemed to bear down on his rounded shoulders.

Enthusiasm, nerves or both might have got the better of him on the 1st hole, when an overcooked wedge from a greenside bunker above the hole dribbled into the drink, and he never properly recovered. The Cup, technically, was put out of reach of the US team a few moments before Mickelson’s slam-dunk-splash, when he and Watson had missed putts, but those Europeans still not battling on the course gathered quickly at the 16th to hoist Molinari skywards. Tony Jacklin, who knows about these things, said Molinari and Fleetwood (immortalised as Moliwood) reminded him of the great Spanish pairing of Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal, who performed wonders for him in the 80s. Certainly they have clicked like the good friends they are away from the course, each with their own hinterland.

Perhaps they get along so well because they are essentially different. Fleetwood is as gregarious and outgoing as Molinari is shy and retiring. When the job was done, Fleetwood put his defeat behind him and ran to the fans who love his boyish lightheartedness. He would go on to celebrate with his wife, Clare, 20 years older than him, and their one-year-old son, Frankie. Molinari’s wife, Valentina, while not the greatest enthusiast for the game, arrived from their home in London with their two children, Tommaso and Emma, to witness Francesco’s finest moment.

As partners Molinari and Fleetwood were blessed synchronicity. For Molinari alone it was very heaven. This ought to long be remembered as Molinari’s Cup – a notion that would appal one of the most self-effacing players in the game.

Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks.

Typhoon Trami MAP: Where is Typhoon Trami going next? Tokyo battered by storm

The monster typhoon is seen switching from one form to the next as it continues to expel cold and hot air while creeping over the battered nation towards the Bering Sea.

The strange finding was shared on Twitter by Scott Cook.

Mr Cook said: “Typhoon Trami ECMWF 10 day forecast model for the West Pacific. 9/30 12 pm EST. Typhoon Trami has become subtropical over Japan as it moves NE. Then becomes extratropical as it moves quickly to the NE to the Bering Sea.”

The change in hot and cold air could be linked to the cyclone’s mounting pressure.

Extratropical cyclones are known for having cold air at their core and can occur over both land and ocean.

They derive their energy from the release of potential energy when cold and warm air masses interact.

Subtropical storms are cyclones that have hot air and can subsequently develop into a hurricane.

Examples of infamous subtropical storms are Gilda in 1973, Jose in 1981, Klaus in 1984, Allison in 2001, Lee in 2011, Humberto in 2013 and Tropical Storm Gaemi in 2018.

Trami barrelled towards the main island of Japan this afternoon and brought with it monsoon-like rain and winds of up to 136mph sparking power cuts and flight cancellations.

Trami has since been downgraded from Category 3 to 2 as it travels across Japan battering everything in sight.

Japanese media said the storm made landfall near the city of Tanabe.

State broadcaster NHK said residents had been advised to brace for “extremely strong winds and torrential rain”.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan, which was heavily flooded by a typhoon last month, said it had closed its runways until Monday. The airport only fully reopened on September 21.

Airlines cancelled more than 1,100 flights, public broadcaster NHK said. And most of local trains and bullet trains in central and western areas suspended operations on Sunday, operators West Japan Railway and Central Japan Railway said.

Evacuation orders has been issued to 700,000 homes.

Six prison officers injured after disorder at high-security jail

Six prison officers were injured after disorder erupted at a high-security jail holding some of the country’s most dangerous inmates.

One member of staff suffered a suspected broken jaw during the disturbance at Category A HMP Long Lartin on Sunday, Prison Officers’ Association (POA) spokesman said.

It is understood the disorder was confined to one wing of the Worcestershire jail and began at around 9.30am before being brought under control by around 6pm.

Seven prisoners have been placed in isolation to be transferred to other prisons.

Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon tweeted: “It is unacceptable that prison staff face such extreme violence at work.

“The government must immediately get a grip on the chaos in our prisons.”

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “We do not tolerate violence in our prisons, and are clear that those responsible will be referred to the police and could spend longer behind bars.”

An investigation is under way.

Long Lartin holds some 510 prisoners with more than three-quarters of inmates serving life sentences, according to a HM Chief Inspector of Prisons report this year.

Opened in 1971, it has housed a number of high-profile prisoners, including radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza and murderer Christopher Halliwell.

Trump denies restricting FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations

Donald Trump has insisted the FBI has “free rein” to investigate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after reports that the White House had restricted the scope of the investigation.

Taking to Twitter, the US president moved to deny an NBC News report which suggested that the bureau was not allowed to investigate claims made by Julie Swetnick, who along with Dr Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. 

Ms Swetnick claimed that she witnessed Judge Kavanaugh and his former classroom, Mark Judge, attempt to get teenage girls “inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys”. The 55-year-old has said that she was the victim of one of those gang rapes, but did not single Judde Kavanaugh or Mr Judge out as one of her assailants.

Judge Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations. 

Mr Trump denied the investigation had been hampered and asking the network to correct its report, claimed he wanted the FBI to “interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion”.

He also told reporters that “the FBI, as you know, is all over talking to everybody,”

He said: “They have free rein. They’re going to do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do. They’ll be doing things that we have never even thought of. And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”

The President’s denial was echoed by senior White House officials today who rebuffed suggestions the administration wanted to limit the probe.


“The White House is not micromanaging this process,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News, before insisting the Senate was in control of the scale of the investigation.

“The Senate is dictating the terms,” she said. “The FBI, this is what they do. And we’re out of the way and letting them do exactly that.”

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also insisted that  the investigation was “not meant to be a fishing expedition” and would be “limited in scope”. She too argued any restrictions were set by the Senate, not the Trump administration.

The FBI is already investigating an accusation by Dr Ford, who said Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both teenagers.

Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to accuse him, had been contacted by the FBI, according to her lawyer John Clune.

Ms Swetnick’s attorney Michael Avenatti claimed on Twitter that his client had not been contacted by investigators.

He added that his client was prepared to testify under oath before the US Senate Judiciary Committee but media reports subsequently suggested that the FBI was not planning to question her.

Mr Trump’s decision to launch an investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh came after mounting pressure from Ms Ford’s Senate testimony last week and concern from Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 (11 Republican for, 10 Democrats against) nonetheless voted to advance Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to a full Senate vote.

The vote passed after Senator Jeff Flake urged Republicans to delay the final vote and allow time for a one-week FBI investigation.

Photos From the Deadly Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia

On September 28, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, near the city of Palu, also triggering a localized tsunami, which swept across coastal Palu and the surrounding area. The death toll has now been raised to 832, but authorities have warned they fear it could climb higher, as they begin to reach inaccessible areas. The quake and tsunami wiped out or damaged many roads and bridges, making rescue and evacuation difficult, and several towns remained cut off as of Sunday.

Kanye West Performs New Song On ‘SNL,’ But Fails To Drop New Album

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Adam Driver’ Episode 1747 — Pictured: (l-r) Musical Guest Kanye West and Lil Pump perform ‘I Love It’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, September 29, 2018 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Last Thursday (Sept. 27), Kanye West announced that he was pushing the release of his ninth studio album, Yandhi, back one day to respect the release date of Lil Wayne’s long-awaited Tha Carter V.

But the new Sept. 29 release date came and went. In lieu of the album, West performed three times on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live the same night his album was due.

The first performance of the night was a live rendition of “I Love It” with Lil Pump.West and Pump dressed up as Perrier and Fiji bottles, and clumsily performed their viral hit. (The song’s music video amassed over 76 million YouTube views in its first week, beating out a record previously set by Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” At the time of writing, song garnered over 188 million views.)

West’s second performance debuted a new song with Teyana Taylor, “We Got Love.” “I gave birth on the bathroom floor/Just me, Iman and headphone calls/Don’t let this life defeat you, I hope this message reach you,” Taylor melodically rapped. The third and final performance featured 070 Shake, Ty Dolla $ign and Kid Cudi for a subpar execution of “Ghost Town” from West’s summertime album ye.

Despite promising the follow up to ye before the weekend’s end, West is seemingly in no rush to release another album. He brought in $27.5 million this past year, which is quite a feat considering he hasn’t toured since 2016’s Saint Pablo tour.

Yandhi isn’t the only pump fake Kanye fans have jumped for. Just weeks after releasing Life of Pablo in 2016, West announced that he would be releasing Turbo Grafx 16 that summer. The album never came.

Recently West and fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper (who brought in $21.5 million last year), may have a collaboration on the way. Two weeks ago, Chance the Rapper uploaded a photo on Instagram with a message that read “Good Ass Job.” Over a decade ago, phrase was the title for West’s fourth studio album.

“‘I’m calling the next one Late Registration,’” he told MTV News in 2003, a year before releasing his debut, The College Dropout. “Then my third album is going to be called Graduation. And the fourth is Good-Ass Job.

Maybe Chance is the accountability partner West needs.

” readability=”60.459307010475″>

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Adam Driver’ Episode 1747 — Pictured: (l-r) Musical Guest Kanye West and Lil Pump perform ‘I Love It’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, September 29, 2018 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Last Thursday (Sept. 27), Kanye West announced that he was pushing the release of his ninth studio album, Yandhi, back one day to respect the release date of Lil Wayne’s long-awaited Tha Carter V.

But the new Sept. 29 release date came and went. In lieu of the album, West performed three times on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live the same night his album was due.

The first performance of the night was a live rendition of “I Love It” with Lil Pump.West and Pump dressed up as Perrier and Fiji bottles, and clumsily performed their viral hit. (The song’s music video amassed over 76 million YouTube views in its first week, beating out a record previously set by Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” At the time of writing, song garnered over 188 million views.)

West’s second performance debuted a new song with Teyana Taylor, “We Got Love.” “I gave birth on the bathroom floor/Just me, Iman and headphone calls/Don’t let this life defeat you, I hope this message reach you,” Taylor melodically rapped. The third and final performance featured 070 Shake, Ty Dolla $ign and Kid Cudi for a subpar execution of “Ghost Town” from West’s summertime album ye.

Despite promising the follow up to ye before the weekend’s end, West is seemingly in no rush to release another album. He brought in $27.5 million this past year, which is quite a feat considering he hasn’t toured since 2016’s Saint Pablo tour.

Yandhi isn’t the only pump fake Kanye fans have jumped for. Just weeks after releasing Life of Pablo in 2016, West announced that he would be releasing Turbo Grafx 16 that summer. The album never came.

Recently West and fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper (who brought in $21.5 million last year), may have a collaboration on the way. Two weeks ago, Chance the Rapper uploaded a photo on Instagram with a message that read “Good Ass Job.” Over a decade ago, phrase was the title for West’s fourth studio album.

“‘I’m calling the next one Late Registration,’” he told MTV News in 2003, a year before releasing his debut, The College Dropout. “Then my third album is going to be called Graduation. And the fourth is Good-Ass Job.

Maybe Chance is the accountability partner West needs.