The Open Review

Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win one of golf’s four majors, as he produced a thoroughly professional final round to clinch The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

The Europe Ryder Cup star was solid in his play throughout the week, and in a final round where others took too many risks on challenging pin targets, Molinari was consistent in his play to produce a fantastic bogey-free round.

Molinari began his round on Sunday three shots adrift of Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele but the tournament opened up in windy conditions, which brought more and more players into the equation.

The world number 15 was both calm and flawless in his approach, as he finished two shots clear of home favourites Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, who were tied on six under.

Rose’s charge in the final round was a remarkable turn around in fortunes, after a crucial birdie at the 18th on Friday meant that he narrowly made the cut.

He repeated the feat at the 18th on Sunday to give himself a chance of an unlikely victory following an incredible performance across the weekend, and McIlroy followed suit by matching his six-under par shortly after.

Another amazing story during the final round was the re-emergence of Tiger Woods, who was the clubhouse leader going into the back nine. Ranked 650th in the world at the start of the year, the Woods of old came to the party in Scotland.

Woods’ supporters were dreaming of a fairytale ending to a troublesome few years both personally and professionally, but an untimely double bogey at the 11th derailed his chances of a win and he eventually carded a 71.

The likes of Kevin Chappell, Tony Finau and Tommy Fleetwood also saw their challenges fade on their final day, and it was left to Molinari to complete history for his country and lift the Claret Jug.

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by Kim Perry at rewards4golf

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