Tiger Woods plays his second shot from a bunker on the eighth hole.
“You knew you’d have three, four good looks at birdies, and the rest of the holes, you were just going to try to position it to make par”.
It was a memorable moment for Molinari, whose two-shot victory at Carnoustie was all-the-more impressive as he partnered a resurgent Tiger Woods on the final day and had to watch the 14-time major victor take the lead himself at one point.
“Serena will probably call me and talk to me about it because you’ve got to put things in perspective”, said Woods who eventually finished tied for sixth, three shots behind playing partner and champion Francesco Molinari.
Swept along by a massive gallery cheering his every move, this was the biggest indication yet since returning from a fourth back operation that Woods can compete at the highest level again.
This was just his ninth major championship in the past four years.
At the end of the day, defending champion Jordan Spieth shared of the third-round lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at Carnoustie at 9 under.
When he missed an 8-footer to make double bogey he was out of the lead. 5 and 6, then double bogey on No. 7 after leaving one shot in the wispy grass and sending his next over the green.
It was the first time Woods had topped a major leaderboard since the Masters in 2013. Stuck on 14 major championship victories for the last decade, it showed that he, indeed, can win another one.
Rose birdied the fearsome 18th hole in all four rounds, one of the more impressive feats of the week.
“It was a blast, ” Woods said. Molinari has been a professional golfer since 2005 and a victor since 2006, but here at the age of 35, he’s playing some of the best golf of his career.
Golf hasn’t stood still in Tiger Woods’ absence. They only spent hours, on handsome spring and summer days, rapt by their televisions, thanks to Tiger. Only one more major can complete the Tiger Woods saga. They could taste it.
Woods’s double came after his approach went well left and hit a spectator. It never hurts to dream.
Reflecting on his final score of six under par, which gave him a share of second place, Rory McIlroy said: “I don’t leave here with regrets, I played a good tournament but this week is just wasn’t good enough”.
Well, not exactly. Molinari, 35, who is from Turin, Italy but lives in London, now has many other things to look forward to if he so chooses in the game of golf.
Woods is in a race against time – and that’s a race no one ever seems to win. Molinari sunk his, giving him sole possession of the lead at eight under par.
Woods shot a third-round 66 on Saturday in Carnoustie, Scotland.
Plenty of weekend golfers have hit the links while coping with a hangover, but a lot of them were not competing in the British Open at the time. That lead would be overtaken by countryman Justin Rose and then by the eventual victor, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, but Pepperell still vaulted 30 spots up the leader board and finished tied for sixth. It’s the best golfers in history and to be on there it’s incredible.