Faultless Molinari holds nerve amid thrilling finish to land Open title
- Author: Stacy Allen Jul 23, 2018,
Jul 23, 2018, 4:07
"Just disbelief, to be honest", the 35-year-old said. With AP Photos.Francesco Molinari's win at the British Open has broken the American stranglehold on golf's major championships, with a US golfer having won the previous five.
Receiving the tournament trophy, the Claret Jug, Molinari said that it would take a while for him to truly grasp the enormity of his achievement.
"Congratulations to the runners up, it's been a tough fight". "But there can only be one victor. This time it's me, but they played great golf and congratulations to them".
"I got here only Monday lunchtime from the States and walked a few holes, and I saw it was firm and fast and the rough wasn't too bad", said Molinari, whose previous best finish was tied for ninth in 2013.
His statements included, "Oh, it was a blast", and, "Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it", and the telltale, "A little ticked off at myself for sure". "I've got a chance at this, which is great".
Playing alongside a rejuvenated Tiger Woods, Molinari followed 13 straight pars with a birdie on the 14th and finished a brilliant round in fitting style with another from just three feet on the 18th. So when he rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 9, stiffed an approach inside two feet for birdie at No. 10, and almost drove onto the green to set up a tap-in birdie at No. 11, there was a feeling something special was happening.
By 4.21 in the afternoon he was joint leader and 10 minutes later he was atop the leaderboard alone at seven under par.
Francesco Molinari's win at the British Open has broken the American stranglehold on golf's major championships, with a US golfer having won the previous five. "He hit a lot of lovely little pitches up there to basically kick-ins".
Although he might not have been amongst the pre-tournament favourites, some were less surprised than other when Francesco Molinari took control of the leaderboard.
It's claimed in the newspaper, via witnesses at Carnoustie, that the fan shouted "free Palestine" and made an offensive hand gesture as Woods went through his backswing. "But I'm right there". So to get to shoot 6-under yesterday was massive.
"I got beaten up around here a few times already in the past".
Another American Kevin Chappell is two shots off the lead with Italy's Francesco Molinari on six under and Woods another stroke back alongside Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson.
I said off camera that I thought he was going to struggle being in the lead of a major championship. "That's why I went to the putting green because I probably would have felt sick watching on TV". There were three guys at 9.
"Man, I just didn't make a putt today". 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 clincher was a bold drive on the 18th hole that flirted with the 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.
But a double-bogey at the par-four 11th, where he failed to pull off a delicate flop shot from beyond the green, proved the undoing of the 14-times major champion.