Molinari gives Italy its first major

Tiger Woods moves into share of lead at British Open

Tiger Woods moves into share of lead at British Open

Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid another insane ending at Carnoustie and won the British Open to become Italy's first major champion.

Amid so much chaos - seven players atop the leaderboard, six of them still tied on the back nine - Molinari played a steady hand by going the entire weekend without a bogey and finishing with a 5-foot birdie putt that secured his place in history as Italy's first major champion.

The tourney marked the return to prominence for Tiger Woods, the USA golfer who has won 14 major championships but none since 2008. He had a one-shot lead until a double bogey on the 11th hole, a bogey on the next.

Today's showing was just Woods' tenth major championship start since 2014. He was awarded the silver medal as low amateur, a victory for both Locke and his mentor, Paul Lawrie, whose 1999 win at Carnoustie was the last by a Scotsman at the British Open. Strategies changed. Slightly softer conditions meant power players who were going beyond the trouble hit more irons, and shorter players hit more drivers and fairway metals. Now they just want to go play soccer with me.

Woods parred the 17th but still stood two shots off Molinari as they went to the final hole. He walked to the next tee with a one-shot lead. But then there's a difference between being three-over on Friday and way off the lead and three-over and way off the lead on Saturday morning.

Woods shot 71 in the final round, finishing tied for sixth place at 5-under par and three shots behind the victor, Italy's Francesco Molinari.

The American star sits level on nine under par alongside compatriots Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner as he aims for a repeat of his victory at Royal Birkdale 12 months ago, although there is a large chasing pack ready to pounce, with Tiger Woods right in the mix. "It was a little bit louder probably when he did that than today was", Schauffele said. "I played patiently. Never got down on myself".

The clincher was a bold drive on the 18th hole that flirted with 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 six at the second following bunker trouble preceded another dropped shot at the third to leave Kisner lagging behind by three.

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"I know it's going to sting for a little bit here, but given where I was to where I am now, I feel blessed", he said.

A dozen players were separated by four shots, which is nothing considering that the past two British Open champions at Carnoustie rallied from 10 shots (Paul Lawrie) and six shots (Padraig Harrington) on the final day.

Woods will be in the third-to-last pairing, with Francesco Molinari.

It was just as tough for Thomas, who bogeyed two of the last three holes to miss the cut by a shot.

"I don't think I ever had a grasp on it", he said.

A massive drive on the following hole nearly took him to the green and he duly went on to birdie that as well to pile the pressure on overnight leaders Kevin Kisner and Zach Johnson.

England's Eddie Pepperell had set the early clubhouse target after a superb 67 left him five under par, four shots off the lead.

The moment Schauffele's approach stopped short on the 18th green the celebrations could start.

Kisner had the 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship previous year. "Either I hit that shot and it clears the burn, or I hit it right next to my feet", he said.

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