Francesco Molinari didn’t get the loudest cheers for the best golf at British Open.
Any course can be overcome, however, when a golfer is on a roll like Molinari’s recent run.
That was the second win of his career for Molinari, and remained his biggest win against a strong field until he arrived at Carnoustie.
Make that three wins.
The eventual victor played alongside former world No 1 Woods in the final round, who appeared ready to end his 10-year victory drought in majors midway through the round. When I made the eagle on 14, it was tough to get close on 15, 16, and 17. “I played well”, said the 28-year-old. He said it had been “everything to make someone nervous” but that he “focused on my process and on hitting good shots and playing smart golf”. “There’s no way around it”. “I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn’t do it”. 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.
The lasered irons and length off the tee were nothing we didn’t see at The Player’s (11th) or Quicken Loans National (4th). He was runner-up at the John Deere Classic before taking the tournament’s charter flight to Scotland.
Carnoustie tempered some of that confidence.
The implications are the same: Entering Carnoustie this weekend, Tiger Woods didn’t have the stuff to win another major.
“I can’t find the words right now, but one picture would do it.” he tweeted in both English and Italian, attaching a picture of little brother Francesco pumping his fist after winning the British Open.
Reputed to be the toughest links in golf, especially in the 20 miles per hour gusts that finally arrived Sunday, Molinari stopped playing the Dunhill Links Championship because that one stop on the three-course rotation ate him up.
McIlroy finished in a four-way tie for second at six under alongside England’s Justin Rose and Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele of the United States, while American 14-time major victor Tiger Woods held the outright lead on the final day for a spell before finishing at five under par. Then Woods made two birdies on the front nine and shared the lead. Woods, dressed in his signature Sunday red and black, held a major championship lead. But this just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament. He earned $1.89 million and posted the lowest final score in the eight Opens played at Carnoustie. Hitting into the gorse didn’t have the same effect this year. Another bogey on the next hole, and he was basically out of the tournament. “And I looked up, and I saw Tiger at number one, and he was leading solo, and I went to Michael [Greller, his caddy], I was like, ‘Dammit, I looked at the board, dude.’ I was, like, frustrated at myself. Never got angry”, he told reporters. “Now they just want to go play soccer with me so that’s just such a great feeling”. “From someone like me, coming from Italy, not really a major golfing country, it’s been an incredible journey”. “It’s back, which feels awesome”.
More importantly, Spieth’s putting stroke restored his confidence, which should extend through the rest of the bag. This was his first top-10 since he almost won the Masters.
“I’m sure this will motivate him even more to achieve some great things in the game of golf in the future”. “I think it will take a long time to sink in”.