Francesco Molinari Takes British Open as Tiger Fades

Francesco Molinari. Photo by Greig Cowie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9766605an)

A dramatic final day saw Francesco Molinari become the first Italian to win the British Open.

Carnoustie, the Scottish coastal links golf course known as ‘The Beast’, hosted its’ first Open since 2007. With almost perfect conditions, Molinari tamed the Tiger and the course to lift the Claret Jug after a final round of 69, two under par.

On a day when others rose to heights before plummeting into the pack, Molinari’s greatest weapon was consistency. His defensive round – aiming for par, determined not to drop shots – proved the right strategy. Throw in a couple of birdies and he was always going to be in the shake-up.

His score of -8 overall, left him two shots clear of four players tied for second. Britons Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy finished on -6, along with Americans Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

Both the latter pair shot 74 on the final day and were left ruing their carelessness. The title awaited had either finished Sunday’s action with a par round.

Woods hauled himself back into contention for the final day when he shot 66 on Saturday. However, as the pressure grew he could only end with a par round of 71. Simple errors crept into his games on the return; in his prime, the sort of self-doubt he never displayed, but now an all too familiar feature of Tiger’s game.

It left Molinari as champion and looking forward to this week’s world rankings which could see him as high as sixth, his best-ever performance.