Well Done Francesco, Italy’s Major Winner
Just three weeks after winning the US PGA’s Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac by a record seven shots on 21 under 259, Francesco Molinari held his nerve in an outstanding final day of the 2018 Open Championship to win by two strokes and become Italy’s first Major winner.
Paired with Tiger Woods, 35 year old Molinari played flawless golf to claim the accolade “And the winner of the Gold Medal and the Champion golfer of the year is Francesco Molinari”. 16 Pars and 2 birdies saw Francesco sign for a 2 under 69 on the tough par 71 Carnoustie links, and finish the Open on 8 under par 276. He played the weekends 36 holes 7 under par and without dropping a shot, the first man to do this at Carnoustie
It might not have had the intensity of the 2016 Stenson – Mickelson duel at Royal Troon, but it was not without incident or excitement, the wind came up in the afternoon and the final pairing of Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele were put on the clock. Spieth, Schauffele and Kevin Kisner started the day at 9 under with 9 other golfers within 4 shots.
Francesco didn’t have it all his own way, a packed leader board saw the lead change hands several times with 14 time Major Champion and winner of 3 Claret Jugs, Tiger Woods, also holding the lead for a while until a double bogey at the 11th and a bogey at the 12th saw him drop back and finish in a tie for 6th on 5 under with England’s Eddie Pepperell and American Kevin Chappell. With the wind now a factor and those at the top starting to drop shots the commentators were saying that Eddie Pepperell, who started the day 8 shots back at -1, and three hours before the final pair, could well be in a playoff, but for the brilliance and tenacity of Francesco Molinari
Well played Francesco, a worthy winner of the gold medal and a great champion golfer