147th Open - Carnoustie 2018
Francesco Molinari becomes the first Italian to win The Open
Francesco Molinari claimed victory at The Open after a final day battle with Tiger Woods to win his first Major Championship.
A new Carnoustie record of 172,000 spectators were enthralled by events during The 147th Open, culminating in Italy’s first winner of the Claret Jug and indeed any Major Championship.
Despite thirteen consecutive pars to begin the final round, Molinari took the lead of The Open after birdie on the par-5 14th hole and never looked back. Playing with Woods, the Italian watched as the American climbed to the top of leaderboard before leap-frogging the 14-time Major Champion in the early stages of the back 9.
Molinari’s closing birdie ensured that he’d clinch the Claret Jug by two-shots from Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
This win eclipsed Molinari previous career high finish of second in a Major at the PGA Championship in 2017. The Italian made The Open the 9th win of his career which includes the BMW PGA Championship and the WGC HSBC Champions event.
Justin Rose shot the best round of the week – a 64 on Saturday to get himself into contention. Zander Lombard of South Africa became the first man to eagle the difficult finishing hole at Carnoustie on the same day. A product of 1999 Champion Golfer Paul Lawrie’s academy, Sam Locke, followed in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy to win the Silver Medal as the leading amateur.
In his opening remarks on becoming Champion Golfer of the Year, Molinari said: "What a week! It is incredible to stand here and I should thank all my family for the support they give me when I travel all around the world. This golf course was incredible, the R&A did an amazing job of setting it up."