Despite being a few shots shy of the lead at the beginning of his round, Francesco Molinari has won the 2018 British Open Championship. In so doing, the 35-year-old from Turin has become the first Italian to win a major championship.
Playing his round with Tiger Woods on this final day of the Open, it had been the American who once looked primed to claim what would have been a spectacular win. However, showing tremendous consistency throughout a tricky day in Carnoustie, Molinari birdied the 18th to finish the round -8; a score high enough to give him the overall lead.
Here was what turned out to be the clinching putt.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 22, 2018
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.
What a round by @F_Molinari. Played with him Thursday-Friday, not surprised! Guy is the hottest player on the planet currently. Bogey free out there today is a championship round
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 22, 2018
The brilliant aspect of this Molinari round relates to who his partner is. Hasn't batted an eyelid.
— Ewan Murray (@mrewanmurray) July 22, 2018
Francesco Molinari in contention for a first major... trying to become the first Italian to win... playing alongside Tiger... on a brutally difficult course... posts a bogey-free 2-under 69 that might just win him The Open Championship.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) July 22, 2018
Cold blooded, flawless round of golf from Molinari. Some serious, serious stones.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) July 22, 2018
So much noise happening today. So hard to play alongside Tiger in any round & Molinari gets him as he’s chasing a major championship and it didn’t rattle the 35-year-old at all. Playing for the Claret, playing for his country, and he goes bogey free around Carnoustie. Incredible
— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) July 22, 2018
Whatever the eventual outcome, that is a sensational round of golf from Francesco Molinari. #TheOpen
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) July 22, 2018
Another nice rebuilding block for Tiger. Double at 11 cost him the tournament. Just not quite confident enough to keep himself together under majors back-nine pressure. And probably worn down mentally by playing partner Molinari, The Machine who made zero mistakes.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 22, 2018
Although the win will be of enormous importance to Francesco Molinari, there is added significance for the Italian. In 2022 Rome will play host to the Ryder Cup, and, in Molinari's win, one cannot overlook what is sure to be a huge boost for Italian golf ahead of that marquee event.
In what was an incredibly tight field on the closing day of the British Open Championship, second-place was divided between Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Kevin Kisner.