Francesco Molinari wins British Open as Tiger Woods has impressive rally

Francesco Molinari wins British Open as Tiger Woods has impressive rally

Francesco Molinari wins British Open as Tiger Woods has impressive rally

If we're being generous with his health/longevity and say he can contend up until he's 50 (remember, Jack won his last major at 46 and he's still the oldest champion of the last 40 years), Tiger has 29 starts to win a major.

Not only did this British Open do well compared to past iterations of the tournament - viewership was up 38 percent from a year ago - it also did well compared to the other majors.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth wasn't the only one struggling to gain traction on the wind-swept final day at Carnoustie.

Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid another insane ending at Carnoustie, outlasting a star-studded field that included Tiger Woods to win The Open and become Italy's first major champion.

It took an Italian 23 years to challenge again at the Open and this time Molinari prevailed, having managed only three top-10 finishes in his 35 previous majors.

It was then that Woods led by himself for a brief period, and it was the first time his name was atop the leaderboard on Sunday at a major since the 2011 Masters.

He repeatedly made those, arranging them with a short game that wowed playing partner Tiger Woods - "He played really solidly", Woods said - and he did so on a day that became impossible to follow lucidly, with its five-way tie for the lead at one point and its six-way tie for the lead at another and its six-way tie for second place at another, with all those six frothing beneath - good grief - Woods. His 76 had plunged him from his opening lead shared with impressive 24-year-old Californian Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, and Spieth never did make a birdie yet felt encouraged, particularly with his putting.

The support for him 12 months from now will be thunderous, although Sunday was a fair approximation during the spell when Tiger Woods threatened to create a sensation.

When a 25-foot birdie putt trundled across the ninth green and into the cup things to get very interesting.

"I played well today", Woods said.

Woods was so close to a fairytale return to the Open at Carnoustie after a three-year absence, eventually coming up three short of eventual victor Francesco Molinari, having led around the turn in his final round. "I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night", he said after shooting 67 and finishing in a three-way tie for sixth.

Molinari played the final 37 holes without a bogey.

All around him on a windy summer day on the links of Carnoustie, the leaders were imploding as Tiger Woods moved into the lead at the turn.

Molinari finished at 8-under 276, the lowest score in eight Opens at Carnoustie, the course where Jean Van de Velde threw away the British Open with a triple bogey on the last hole in 1999, where Padraig Harrington twice hit into Barry Burn on the last hole to make double bogey and still won. "He's healthy. I wouldn't say we're anxious about him, but he's one of those guy that's always in with a shot". In his case, one major might lead to two and two might even lead to three. "I really did. I hit a lot of good shots", Woods told reporters.

My pre-event picks, except for rank outsider, Thorbjorn Olesen, were as good as dead after round one and I dropped a clanger by not laying my stakes back on in-running pick, Jon Rahm.

Kisner, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Spieth and Schauffele, took double-bogey on No. 2. "It didn't feel any different to be next to the lead and knowing what I need to do". A generation of golf fans, however, don't care.

"That putt on the last, I'll never forget", he said.

"I've got a bit of experience at this", he said.

No one in the final two groups was able to threaten Molinari.

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