Francesco Molinari completes his Italian job by winning Open title
Molinari carded a nerveless closing 69 at a windswept Carnoustie to finish eight under par.
Francesco Molinari became the first Italian player to win a major title after one of the most dramatic final rounds in Open Championship history.
Molinari carded a nerveless closing 69 at a windswept Carnoustie to finish eight under par, two shots clear of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
Playing alongside a rejuvenated Tiger Woods, Molinari followed 13 straight pars with a birdie on the 14th and finished a brilliant round in fitting style with another from just three feet on the 18th.
“I’m lost for words really,” said Molinari, who has now won three times in his last six starts. “It’s incredible to do something like this and I’m very proud of what I’ve done.”
Tweet of the day
Well, fantastic two weeks up here in Scotland. 30 mins from Tebay and the finest Roast Dinner on the motorway. See you all somewhere down the road. 👍🍷— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) July 22, 2018
Eddie Pepperell held the early clubhouse lead after a closing 67, but had a phlegmatic approach when his chances of Open glory were finally ended.
Shot of the day
That Molinari approach on 18 though 👀 pic.twitter.com/4QUBhrCdtq— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 22, 2018
Francesco Molinari was tied for the lead with Schauffele before hitting a brilliant approach to the 18th and converting the short birdie putt.
Round of the day
Pepperell’s 67 was the lowest score of the day but Molinari’s 69 was better in the circumstances, especially playing alongside Woods and not dropping a shot in windy conditions.
Quote of the day
“The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me so that’s just such a great feeling.” – Woods reflects on being greeted by his children after the round.
Stat of the day
Bogey-free streaks for @F_Molinari in his last 3 wins (all in last 6 starts):— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 22, 2018
BMW PGA: last 44 holes
Quicken Loans: last 28 holes
The Open: last 37 holes
The Golf Channel’s Justin Ray points out the brilliant mistake-free golf Molinari has been producing.
Thanks to being played back into the strongest wind of the week, the par-four 17th played as the toughest hole for the first time, with three birdies, 27 bogeys and five double bogeys or worse giving a scoring average of 4.43.
Unsurprisingly the par-five 14th was the easiest hole for the fourth straight day, with McIlroy and Rose making two of the three eagles. Only two players failed to make par or better, with 58 making birdie as the hole played to an average of 4.228.
On the up
The prospects of a remarkable 15th major title for Woods after he proved he could compete once more at the highest level.
On the slide
Jordan Spieth’s chances of a good night’s sleep after the three-time major winner squandered another chance for victory with a dreadful final round of 76.