Spieth, Tiger, Rory, Rose. All the big names were in the mix on Sunday at Carnoustie, but none could hold off Francesco Molinari at The 147th Open.
If drama is what you wanted, then Sunday at The 147th Open certainly delivered. Here are notable notes from the final round at Carnoustie.
Spieth can’t hold it together for back-to-back Opens
Jordan Spieth had to give back the Claret Jug in a ceremony on Monday at Carnoustie. Six days later, as officials walked by with the jug en route to the 18th green for the trophy presentation, Spieth watched and deadpanned, “Goodbye old friend.”
Spieth was among a trio tied for the lead at 9 under through 54 holes, but shot 5-over 76 to tumble down the leaderboard and into a tie for ninth. It was his worst-ever final round in a major.
Spieth made four pars and a bogey to start the day, but made a mess of the par-5 sixth hole when his second shot with a 3-wood from the right rough shot off even farther right and into a thick bush.
From there, he had to take an unplayable, knocked his fourth shot on the green and three-putted (including one from short-range) for double-bogey 7.
He managed to pull himself together afterward, making pars on the next eight holes – including a disappointing 3-putt after reaching the green in two at the par-5 14th – but dropped shots at 15 and 17 to eventually settle on 4 under.
Despite the deflating conclusion, Spieth’s takeaways from the week were positive.
“[My game] is all there, and it’s moving in the right direction,” Spieth said. “So I’m actually very pleased coming out of this week. Obviously, with the disappointment of not getting the job done today, but I’m not going to win every single time.”
Roars for Rory
Rory McIlroy began his final round four shots off the pace, but became an afterthought when he made early bogeys at Nos. 2 and 5 to fall well off the pace. But while we were all distracted by Spieth’s unraveling and Woods’ ascent, McIlroy wasn’t ready to call it quits.
One of the loudest roars of the day came at the par-5 14th hole, where McIlroy drove the green in two and drained a 55-footer for eagle to get to 6 under and in a share of the lead.
He made pars on his final four holes, settling for a runner-up finish, but he certainly gave us a late thrill at the site where he made his major championship debut as an amateur in 2007.
Rose early leader for ‘comeback’ of the year
Justin Rose had to make a 15-foot putt for birdie on his 36th hole to make the cut at Carnoustie. He drained it. He came back two more days and accomplished similar feats – pouring in birdie putts at 18 in Rounds 3 and 4 (did we mention he also birdied 18 in Round 1?).
On the weekend, Rose went 9 under (64-69) in his final two rounds at Carnoustie, getting to 6 under total and into a tie for second place.
When asked his thoughts on how far he’d come since Friday, Rose said, “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament. That I can win The Open.”
Streak of American major winners comes to an end
Before Molinari won the Claret Jug on Sunday, the last five major championship winners were Americans. Webb Simpson (an American) won this year’s Players. Team USA presently possesses both the Ryder and Presidents cups.
On Sunday at Carnousite, eight of the top 12 players on the leaderboard were Americans. But by day’s end, Francesco Molinari – an Italian - shot a bogey-free 69 to become the first from his nation to etch his name onto the Claret Jug.Locke locks up silver medal
As the only amateur to make the cut, Sam Locke is your low amateur at The 147th Open. He shot rounds of 72-73-70-78 for a 9-over total of 284 and a T-75 finish.
“It’s a great feeling to have won the silver medal and make the cut in my first major as well,” Locke said.Locke joins the fraternity of low amateurs at Carnoustie that includes Rory McIlroy, who earned the honour the last time The Open was played at here in 2007.
“It’s really nice to know you’re in the same company of some of the great names of golf. … It was brilliant walking down 18 today, despite, though, I had a poor back nine today. You’ll never forget an experience like that.”