Francesco Molinari captured the European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship title and a $1.1m prize after a flawless bogey-free weekend using a new Bettinardi putter he switched to just a few weeks ago.

Bettinardi’s Double Aged Stainless Steel (DASS) BBZero Tour model, with FIT Face Milling and a sight dot on the top, proved the perfect companion for the 35-year-old over the final stages of the demanding Wentworth Club course, as he finished two shots ahead of three-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.

Molinari, who was runner-up in the event last year and has been in contention on several occasions in the past, recorded his maiden victory in the Tour’s Rolex Series and his fifth Tour title to end the day in third spot on the Race to Dubai. He also catapulted himself into fourth spot on the European Points List and into the projected automatic qualification places for The Ryder Cup in September.

“It’s great to come out on top after being close so many times down the years,” said Francesco, who can now look forward to returning home this week for the Italian Open – an event he won two years ago. “Today was another very solid day for me and it was just enough to get me over the line.”

The victory lifted Molinari’s earnings on the European Tour this season to $1.7m after just four events and he is averaging 27.3 putts and 1.712 putts per GIR.

He is the second Team Bettinardi player to win on the European Tour this season and the third overall, following Haotong Li’s victory with a Studio Stock 3 Tour putter in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January. Other Team Bettinardi players include Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples.

Bettinardi BB Series putters are available from selected retail stockists at a RRP of £289.