British Open: Francesco Molinari wins Open championship as Tiger Woods falls short

Annette Crawford
July 23, 2018

One day after a bogey-free round of 65 to share the lead, he had a birdie-free round at the worst time. Six were still tied on the back nine.

Through all that, Molinari never flinched. Molinari didn't make a bogey on his way to a 69 while playing alongside Woods.

He had the outright lead at seven under as he turned but dropped three shots in two holes at the 11th and 12th and never recovered his momentum. He poured it in, raised his right fist and shook it lightly before slamming it for emphasis.

"Just disbelief, to be honest", the 35-year-old said.

"Playing with Tiger makes it even more special".

"I knew I was coming in with some good golf. I felt I was ready for the challenge".

"Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah", said Woods, who finished the tournament finished tied for sixth, three shots behind playing partner Molinari.

"The way Francesco played today was handsome", said Woods.

The ball bounded into spectators and actually caromed back toward the green.

Tiger Woods during British Open golf third round action in Carnoustie July 21, 2018.

He finished two clear of four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, Americans Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele and England's fomer US Open champion Justin Rose, who had to birdie the last on Friday to make the weekend cut. "It's the best golfers in history, and to be on there, it's incredible", he added. I was in the final group.

Schauffele is a future major victor in the making but he, along with Kevin Kisner and Kevin Chappell made one or two errors yesterday that they may not have made with more experience of links golf.

The Italian attacked the course well on Sunday as he tried to capitalise on the errors by the three overnight leaders; Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner who all dropped shots.


All of them made mistakes, big and small. The roars for his two birdies could be heard from all corners of Carnoustie. Woods moved to No. 50 in the world for the first time in more than three years. Spieth hit into a gorse bush and made double bogey on the par-five sixth. 6 player in the Official World Golf Rankings isn't still on the same path considering how he's found such a stellar game at this point in his career.

And then there was Kisner, looking to go wire-to-wire.

Woods had been surprised to find himself leading so quickly after starting the day four shots from the lead.

"I didn't get off to a great start, but I hung in there and I battled back", McIlroy said.

His red shirt blazing against the yellow grass of a dry Scottish summer, Woods hit driver into the wind on the par-4 fourth to set up birdie.

A Brit named Eddie Pepperell shot 67 with a hangover to end up tied with him. Molinari's tied ninth in 2013 was his best previous effort in nine prior attempts but he'd put the hours in.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn't really changed.

I came close there a few times and to finally pull it off meant a lot. Hopefully they will get as inspired as I was at the time, watching him vie for the Claret Jug. Next year's tournament is at Royal Portrush, the first time the British Open is held in Northern Ireland since 1951. "It's awesome to stand here with the Claret Jug".

Oh, and of Molinari, he said, "Yeah, just to go today's round without a bogey is unreal".

"I didn't play very well on the front".

"Making a double there. Today was a good day for both of us, I guess".

For McIlroy, the only regret was that he started his charge too late. He played his final round with Tiger, who complimented Molinari for his "beautiful" play. But let's not forget about Molinari's attitude pre-major champion.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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