Francesco Molinari stays calm as Tiger-mania grips Carnoustie

25 July, 2018, 22:30 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Dustin Johnson of the U.S. in action during the second round REU

Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid another insane ending at Carnoustie and won the British Open to become Italy's first major champion.

Justin Rose, who made the cut with an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the second round, is 5 under through 15 holes and 2 under for the tournament.

" Jordan Spieth will today attempt to become the first back-to-back victor of The Open Championship in a decade as he goes into the final round at Carnoustie tied with fellow Americans Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner".

The last of his 14 majors came at the U.S. Open in 2008. He had a one-shot lead until a double bogey on the 11th hole, a bogey on the next.

"I had a great opportunity", said Woods, who shot 71 to tie for sixth.

Schauffele and Kisner are going for their first victory in a major, while Spieth is seeking his fourth and to be the first back-to-back British Open champion in 10 years.

Runner-up in 2012 and a last-day leader in 2013 and 2015, Scott has given himself a fighting chance once again of becoming the first Australian since his childhood idol Greg Norman, a quarter of a century ago, to win the Open. Amidst a bogey barrage from other contenders, Molinari's round of 16 pars and two birdies helped him rise to the top.

But as he reflected on his overall performance, Woods was happy he gave himself a shot at the title in his first Open appearance for three years following a series of back problems. At one point, he went over to the practice green, but not to prepare for a playoff.

"Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it!"

Schauffele was still in contention with two holes to play, needing to pick up a couple of shots to tie the lead, but a bogey at 17 left him requiring an unlikely eagle at the 508-yard last and that was a challenge too far.

And then, he grabbed a share of the lead when Schauffele bogeyed the sixth and Spieth doubled.


"I don't think so", Spieth said.

Before heading to the course on Saturday, Spieth went into Carnoustie for what he called "a very British haircut", just as Tiger Woods was rolling back the years with his third-round 66 in front of huge galleries. I've played with him before in Ryder Cups and in big occasions, so I knew what was coming, and I was ready for it. "I knew that going in", he said.

For 20 minutes on a warm Saturday afternoon at the British Open, Tiger Woods's name was back atop a leaderboard at a major championship and Carnoustie was buzzing.

"Francesco played really solidly today", Woods added.

The lead at the top changed several times with 14-time major victor Tiger Woods briefly out in front on his own and 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy also challenging. "I doubt he's been called Zach that many times".

After three days of good conditions, the wind picked up on Sunday and it made life tough for all the players.

Schauffele had to hole out a wedge on the final hole and checked up well short of the hole. But it wasn't going to spoil the 42-year-old American's day.

Then, on the short par-four 11th, Woods struck a attractive tee shot and got up-and-down from just left of the green, using the putter twice. I hit a lot of good shots.

"I told them I tried, and I said, "Hopefully you're proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did", he said".

An errant tee shot at the last threatened to spoil Woods' round, but after laying up he struck his third to within two feet to save par.

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