Francesco Molinari wins Open as Woods falls short

Monday, 23 Jul, 2018

A charging Tiger Woods was breathing down the necks of the leaders early in his final round of an absorbing British Open at Carnoustie on Sunday. Paired with Woods throughout his final round at Carnoustie, Molinari parred his first 13 holes before making a birdie at the par-5 14th hole.

It was the second straight year that No. 1 and No. 2 in the world missed the cut in a major, and Johnson became the first No. 1 player to miss the cut at the British Open since Luke Donald in 2011.

A victory would complete a most remarkable comeback for Woods, who has had four back surgeries, a marital scandal and a DUI arrest since his last major.

The Englishman, who had only edged his way past the cut, sunk seven birdies to go within two shots of the leaders at four under.

"I played better than what the score indicates", he told reporters because I had two eight irons into both par 5s today, and I end up with par on both", he told a throng of reporters. "I've had a career's worth in a few years", said Spieth, who admitted he found it "difficult" to hand over the Claret Jug when he arrived in Carnoustie on Monday.

The 14-time Grand Slam victor, a 25-to-1 shot at the start of this tournament, is squarely in the hunt to claim another major championship, something he hasn't done since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Out here with the firm fairways, you've got to really pick and choose what you're going to do.

Even as Tiger Woods was piecing together a level round, and late starters like Kisner and Jordan Spieth were still on the course, the cut figured to be about 3-over, plus or minus one shot.

"I felt like it kept me in the fight", Woods said.

Compared to how he finished his first round Spieth was more than happy to negotiate the daunting closing holes with no further damage and his name lurking on the leaderboard.

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He won the last of his 14 majors a decade ago since when he has been written off after a battle with injuries and personal problems.

A deafening roar reverberated around the course when he sunk a long birdie putt on the fourth to move to within three of the lead along with playing partner Francesco Molinari. "I've got a chance at this, which is great".

Johnson holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th and had a one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood at the midway point of the second round.

"That was good. I played well today".

At 5 under overall, Woods was two shots off the lead.

It was his best score in a weekend round of a major since the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Woods was "back at the top of his game", said Shaun Morris, who got Woods to sign four new gloves after the round and planned to give them to his friends back home in South Africa.

The leader of the 147th Open Championship is Zach Johnson, the victor of the 144th Open Championship, played at St. Andrews in 2015.