The Open 2018: Francesco Molinari wins on thrilling last day
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy falter as Molinari becomes first Italian to win a major
Francesco Molinari won The Open after an eventful final round, becaming the first Italian to win a major tournament. The 35-year-old held off a pack of star names to win at Carnoustie, finishing with an eight-under total of 276.
Molinari, who was ranked 15th in the world going into the tournament, finished eight under par, two shots clear of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
The Italian timed his rise to perfection. He had produced steady opening rounds of 70 and 72 to take him into the weekend but it was the superb 65 on Saturday that rocketed him into contention. His faultless final round on a blustery Sunday guaranteed him the win.
“What a week,” said Molinari after lifting the Claret Jug. Turning to his opponents, he said: "Obviously it is incredible to stand here between all of these people."
He offered “congratulations” to the runners-up, saying the Open had been a “tough fight”.
Earlier, it had seemed possible that Tiger Woods would end his ten-year victory drought in majors when he topped the leaderboard. But just as a sensational sporting comeback seemed on the cards, a double-bogey at the 11th and another dropped stroke at the next hole put paid to the growing excitement.
The American legend paid tribute to the winner, saying: “The way Francesco played today was beautiful.”