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Italy's Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

Updated: 2018-07-23 16:37
Francesco Molinari (R) watches his tee shot on the 18th hole as Tiger Woods looks on during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club. Photo/VCG

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid the cheers for Tiger Woods and another crazy ending at Carnoustie to win the British Open and become Italy's first major champion.

Woods brought pandemonium by charging into the lead on Sunday at a major for the first time in nine years, only to lose it with one bad hole. Jordan Spieth cost himself by failing to make a single birdie.

Seven players had a share of the lead at some point. Six were still tied on the back nine.

Molinari closed with a 2-under 69, playing the final 37 holes on the toughest links in golf without a bogey. The clincher was a bold drive on the 18th hole that flirted with edge of a pot bunker, a wedge to 5 feet and a birdie putt that gave him a lead no one in the last two groups was able to erase.

The 35-year-old Molinari finished at 8-under 276, the lowest score in eight Opens at Carnoustie.

Earlier in the day, playing partner Woods had every reason to believe he would cap a most amazing comeback. He had a one-shot lead until a double bogey on the 11th hole, a bogey on the next.

Woods closed with a 71 to tie for sixth, three shots behind. It was the first time since 2007 that he trailed going into the final round of a major, had the lead and failed to win.

The victory adds to Molinari's best stretch of golf. Now at a career-best No. 6 in the world, he has won three times and been runner-up twice in the past two months.

Rory McIlroy (70), Kevin Kisner (74), Justin Rose (69) and Xander Schauffele (74) tied for second, two stroke back. Spieth went from a bogey-free round on Saturday that gave him a share of the lead to a birdie-free round that led to a 76, his highest Sunday score in a major.

AP

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