What the papers said - Molinari overtakes Ferrari and Woods on the comeback trail
It is not often that Gazzetta dello Sport relegate the Ferrari Formula 1 team to a sidebar on the front page the day after a race – but Francesco Molinari is too big to ignore.
The 35-year-old is Italy’s first ever Champion Golfer of the Year, and first major winner, so his face is splashed across the front and back pages all over the world.
Media from across the globe travel in droves to report on The Open every year and they were treated to an all-time classic on Sunday as Molinari held off Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods among others to win at Carnoustie.
Here’s some of the themes in the papers today:
Now the greatest golfer in Italian history, it is no surprise to see Francesco Molinari celebrated by his homeland.
But the significance of his win is huge and could help inspire a new generation of Italian golfers.
Sulla #Gazzzetta in edicola oggi:— LaGazzettadelloSport (@Gazzetta_it) July 23, 2018
🏌️♂️ @F_Molinari leggenda al #TheOpen ⚽ Milan attack: 4 sfide per Elliott 🏁 Shock Ferrari, Vettel sbaglia 🎾 @fabiofogna e Cecchinato, tennis in gloria. E molto altro! pic.twitter.com/P87EpkthKe
“I saw the front page today and it was pretty impressive,” he added.
“It is nice. Hopefully a lot of kids will take up golf. I hope they were watching yesterday and they understood what is so exciting and thrilling about this game.”
The Daily Mirror’s Andy Dunn was more focussed on the now and believes that his closing round of 69 was one of the best he had seen.
“After the chaotic enthrallment of an epic afternoon, one thing should not be forgotten,” he wrote.
“Francesco Molinari did not just win The 147th Open Championship, he won it with one of the great closing rounds in major history.
“Not in its number, not in its level of brilliance, but in its glorious grittiness. In its heart, in its nerve.
“As blows were traded on every parched patch of Angus ground, Molinari did not flinch.”
With Woods, Rose and McIlroy in contention, Molinari might be a surprise winner – but not according to ESPN’s Bob Harig.
“Perhaps people should have seen this coming,” he wrote.
“Molinari has been on an incredible run of late, winning the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship, before finishing second at the Italian Open, winning the Quicken Loans and then tying for second at last week's John Deere Classic.”
Woods in for the kill
As ever, Tiger Woods commanded much of the attention on Sunday as he teased the Carnoustie crowd with a thrilling win.
The 42-year-old led at the turn and something special seemed to be happening as he hunted his first major in ten years.
In the end, he fell back and tied for sixth but The Telegraph’s Oliver Brown believes he will contend again when he sharpens up.
“Even at the age of 42, his chance, one senses, will come again. As he explained after a round that delivered only a fraction of what it promised, he played exactly as he had envisaged in the gathering Carnoustie gusts.
“It was simply that when he began the back nine, the ring-rustiness set in. When he needed to move in for the kill, the impression, sad to relate, was that he had forgotten how to do it.”
As The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell wrote, seeing Woods back to his best was a scintillating experience:
“Woods was firmly in a world of his own – and tied with [Xander] Schauffele in the lead, as [Jordan] Spieth suffered. After 10 years, we were back in Tiger business.
“As Darren Clarke remarked, “At his best, he bores the golf course to death.” But this was anything but boring. Nine holes from home, he had lit up not just Carnoustie but the whole of golf.”
Positives for McIlroy
It was a case of so near yet so far for Rory McIlroy as he finished tied for second at The Open, and the Irish Independent’s Brian Keogh believes he needs to rediscover that killer instinct.
“Even the greats have to learn to be great again and that goes for Rory McIlroy after he came up two strokes short in his bid for that elusive fifth major title,” he wrote.
“The County Down man believes he took another step back on the road to the top at Carnoustie yesterday and rather than look back on his turgid start - two bogeys in his first five holes - he felt he didn't so much lose The Open but that Francesco Molinari just went out and won it.”
The Telegraph’s Richard Bath thought McIlroy was going to win thanks to his incredible hunger: “For a while though, it appeared as if he might just muscle his way through a packed field through sheer force of personality and desire.
“Even early bogeys at two and five were not enough to stop his bull-in-a-china-shop charge as he prioritised length over accuracy and ended up hitting just 40 percent of fairways.
“Yet McIlroy’s high-risk gambit worked, and as the most remarkable Open finish for many years gradually bubbled to boiling point, birdies at nine and then 11 brought him roaring back into contention just as it seemed that his challenge was
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