Italian Francesco Molinari’s thrilling maiden Major

Annette Crawford
July 23, 2018

Tiger Woods finished five under after leading midway through the round, with Jordan Spieth on four under.

Rory McIlroy reacts on the 18th during the final round.

"I told them I tried, and I said "Hopefully you're proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did", he said. "But it's been the same the whole of my career".

Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win a major, holding off a pack of star names to claim The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

And it wasn't an accident.

McIlroy remained without a major victory since winning his fourth at the PGA Championship in 2014.

His success ends a run of five consecutive majors being won by Americans, and confirms an incredible run of form for Molinari after his victory at the PGA Championship at Wentworth in England in May and a first PGA Tour win at the Quicken Loans National recently.

Carnoustie tempered some of that confidence.

Reputed to be the toughest links in golf, especially in the 20 miles per hour gusts that finally arrived Sunday, Molinari stopped playing the Dunhill Links Championship because that one stop on the three-course rotation ate him up.

"I think with how he's played this year, there's just maybe a little more belief", McIlroy said, hinting at what might be lacking in his own game right now. "I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling".

Woods started slowly, McIlroy too. He saved par with 8-foot putts on the 12th and 13th, two of the most pivotal putts all day.

At the age of 35, he becomes the first Italian to win a Major, after keeping his cool in remarkable fashion when nearly all around him seemed to be losing theirs on a windy afternoon.


Molinari closed with a 69, significant for two reasons.

"I couldn't watch Xander play the last two holes, to be honest".

The 24-year-old from California kept playing with a smile on his face despite finding himself, as he described it, "in the strangest spots possible on the golf course" with playing partner Spieth. "He's been working his butt off", Spieth said.

"It gives me a lot of encouragement going into the final major of the year". Schauffele was the only player who had a chance to tie him.

"I would love for him to get back to where he was a few years ago". It is the first time that I was playing in the weekend at The Open. Westwood beat everyone else by nine shots in the HSBC Champions and lost by one to Molinari. Great touch. You could see him actually try and hit a couple with cut spin, a couple with draw spin.

Daly wound up winning the four-hole playoff.

"The last round already was big news in Italy". "Obviously, to achieve something like this is on another level".

The "where I was" referred to the years of debilitating back pain that was finally solved by a spinal fusion last April, allowing him to resume his career after four years of severely-curtailed appearances. "So there's going to be a lot of European guys vying for his partnership in foursomes at the Ryder Cup".

Ultimately, Molinari's technique held up amid the fiercest pressure.

Jul 22, 2018; Carnoustie, Angus, SCT; Tiger Woods chips from the 17th fairway during the final round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links.

It was a memorable moment for Molinari, whose two-shot victory at Carnoustie was all-the-more impressive as he partnered a resurgent Tiger Woods on the final day and had to watch the 14-time major victor take the lead himself at one point.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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