Italian Francesco Molinari’s thrilling maiden Major
Carnoustie — Italy’s Francesco Molinari emerged from the pack on a thrilling final day at Carnoustie to win the British Open on Sunday, seeing off the challenges of reigning champion Jordan Spieth and a revived Tiger Woods to win the first Major of his career.
At the age of 35, he becomes the first Italian to win a Major, after keeping his cool in remarkable fashion when almost all around him seemed to be losing theirs on a windy afternoon. Molinari underlined his status as the hottest player in world golf by finishing with an eight-under total of 276.
A two-under-par round of 69 on the Scottish links allowed him to finish two shots clear of the quartet of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.
Molinari had started the day three shots behind overnight leaders Schauffele, Kisner and Spieth, who were all nine under par when they teed off.
The latter had been hoping to become the first player since Padraig Harrington a decade ago to retain the Claret Jug, but he faded with a final-round 76.
Woods at one point looked like completing an astonishing fairytale comeback when he led the Open in the final round but ultimately came up short, posting a level par 71 to finish five-under for the tournament in a tie for sixth with England’s Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Chappell of the US.