British Open: Francesco Molinari wins Open championship as Tiger Woods falls short

Ruben Hill
July 23, 2018

Four-times major champion Rory McIlroy was another to struggle, dropping two shots in his opening seven holes to drop back to three-under.

All of Scotland and most of the golf world did.

It was from there where the 5-foot-8 Italian made the birdie putt that broke the tie at 7-under par with Schauffele, pushed him to 8-under and secured victory. But it was significant nonetheless.

At the par-5 6th, Woods pounded a drive into the fairway, hit a wood for his next shot and went for the green in two.

"It would be better on Sunday, but I'm right there".

"The way Francesco played today was lovely", said Woods after ending in a tie for sixth spot.

Woods opened his day at five-under par, four shots back of the leaders, fellow Americans Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele. He rammed in a 25-footer for birdie on 14 to keep a small chance alive, but he could not make any more birdies coming in and missed a six-footer for birdie at 18.

He laid up, then speared a majestic 150-yard wedge to within three feet.

"I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again".

With a strong breeze causing mayhem at the top of the leaderboard which a charging Tiger Woods had topped with nine holes to play, the 35-year-old Molinari buckled down to produce a flawless 69 and claim victory by two strokes.

Woods has shown glimpses of promise this season after returning from knee and back surgery, but challenging on the biggest stage has been a step too far.

Of course, Woods isn't the only one with a bounce in his step. "So five (behind) is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow".

The wind picked up considerably on Sunday for the first time all week.

Woods began the day level par after two steady rounds, tied for 29th, but six birdies fired him to a share of sixth place.

Francesco Molinari celebrates a birdie putt at The Open. But it is in keeping his Saturdays on the PGA Tour this year - he leads with a third-round scoring average of 68.44.

In his trademark red shirt, the 42-year-old looked in complete control as he birdied the fourth and sixth holes.

The 14-times major victor eventually signed for a 71 and a share of sixth at five under with Englishman Eddie Pepperell - who claimed the clubhouse lead early in the day with a last-round low 67 - and fellow American Kevin Chappell (73).

However, his run of luck came to an abrupt end at the 11th - as did his lead - finding the rough then hitting a spectator before rolling behind a bush and resulting in a double bogey with him exiting the green grim-faced.

If nothing else, Woods gave himself a boost heading into the final round. "It's going to be fun".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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