The 147th Open brings the best out of British
Carnoustie’s bracing winds and four relentless rounds at The 147th Open invigorated the fortunes of Britain’s best.
Joint-second place finishes for Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy leave them in particular poised to push on and pursue their major ambitions.
Rose was one 14-foot putt away from missing Friday’s cut, but surged back to card 64 – the joint-lowest score in Carnoustie Open history – and 69.
His best display since 1998, when he finished fourth as an amateur, saw him finish two strokes behind Champion Golfer Francesco Molinari.
“It just proves to me I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” said Rose, suffused with hope he can add to his 2013 US Open title.
“When I’m in the hunt, I play my best golf. I don’t back away and I really enjoy it.”
Four-time major champion McIlroy was true to his word in playing the brand of aggressive golf The Open so often rewards.
In Sunday's tough conditions the Ulsterman produced an outstanding eagle on the 14th to stay within touching distance of the Claret Jug and earn a six-way share of the lead.
McIlroy, Champion Golfer in 2014, signed for 70 in the final round and has now finished in the top five at two of the year's first three majors.
“It was a fantastic tournament,” he said, “you have Tiger back in the mix and Francesco as a worthy champion.
"I was just very happy to be a part of the conversation and it gives me a lot of encouragement going into the last major of the year. It was really cool. I have no regrets."
Elsewhere in the Home Nations ranks, Eddie Pepperell catapulted himself into the public consciousness as a final round 67 saw him finish tied for sixth.
Five birdies in a four-under-par effort saw the Englishman – a late entry for The Open after coming second at the Scottish Open – follow up opening rounds of 71 and 70.
Carnoustie’s links also delivered the renewal Danny Willett has been desperately seeking as he began his road back with a 24th place finish.
69 on the opening day saw the Yorkshireman return to the clubhouse as the leading British player, one stroke ahead of Matthew Southgate.
Willett will hope the end of his protracted battle with back injury is in sight, having missed the cut in ten of his previous 12 tournaments.
Chris Wood's love affair with The Open continued, storming his way to 66 on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who ended +3 for the tournament, came fifth as an amateur in 2008 and third a year later.