‘I handled it okay but, looking back, you know, that was a turning point in the round.
“It’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed, ” Woods said. “It’s a really tough golf course”.
Woods’ fairytale of a 15th major and first for 10 years looked a very distinct possibility when he took the lead with nine holes to go, but the former world No.1 struggled over the back nine to fall away. “There’s no way around it”. He was awarded the silver medal as low amateur, a victory for both Locke and his mentor, Paul Lawrie, whose 1999 win at Carnoustie was the last by a Scotsman at the British Open. Molinari is now seventh in the FedExCup, a leap of 116 spots in the past four weeks.
Congrats to Molinari, who’s been one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour; he’s now won three of his last six starts.
Molinari arrived with the confidence to conquer Carnoustie.
Sunday’s result was not what numerous thousands who tracked through the humps and hollows of the links course wanted, though it probably was for the male spectator who heckled Woods as he hit his drive at the final hole.
Spieth also did not win, but the defending champion and three-time major champion said, “I feel fine”.
“Clearly, in my group, the attention wasn’t really on me, let’s put it that way”, Molinari said, the gleaming claret jug in front of him.
With defending champion Jordan Spieth, Woods, English duo Rose and Tommy Fleetwood and McIlroy in the Sunday mix, the Molinari sub-plot was nearly overlooked as the leading groups went out.
He reached the turn in 34 strokes and with Spieth and Schauffele imploding a few holes back Woods was suddenly clear at the top of the leaderboard on seven-under.
The pair’s 72-hole total of 282 was good enough for top-20 finishes, but not good enough to contend for the Claret Jug. He still might retire early, but after the success of 2018, I don’t think he’ll need to sweat the cost of paying for his own WiFi to troll people on Twitter.
“The wind is supposed to pick up, so that might be a helping hand”, said Fleetwood, who holds the course record at Carnoustie with a 63 at the Dunhill Championship past year and also shot 63 on the final day of the US Open last month to finish second behind Brooks Koepka. Hitting into the gorse didn’t have the same effect this year.
Molinari, who had won twice and finished second two times in the last couple of months, began the day at six under and did not make his move until holing a birdie after 13 successive pars.
He added that he only started to believe he could win it when the young American Xander Schauffele missed a par putt at the 17th to slip two behind the lead with one hole to go.
“That putt on the last, I’ll never forget”, he said. “I never got angry”, said Spieth, who finished T9. “Today was a day that I had a great opportunity”, he admitted. This was his first top-10 since he almost won the Masters.