There was encouragement for Europe’s Ryder Cup team as Francesco Molinari won the Open Championship while Tiger Woods showed glimpses of past glories.
Francesco Molinari picked up his first major title by landing the Open Championship while there were encouraging signs for both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy (McIlroy 10/1, Woods 18/1 – PGA Championship Outright) on a thrilling final day at Carnoustie.
Molinari forced himself into contention on Saturday with a third-round 65 and backed that up with a two-under 69 on Sunday to finish on -8.
The 35-year-old became the first Italian to land one of golf’s top prizes as he claimed a two-shot win, with McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Kisner and Justin Rose finishing in a tie for second.
It was a fantastic climax to the third Major of the year as a number of players held the lead at various stages.
Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major in 10 years but held the lead for a brief period, only to drop three shots over two holes to finish level par for the day and on -5 overall in a tie for sixth.
McIlroy also moved to the top of the leaderboard despite two early bogeys as he chased a first major in four years although ultimately the Northern Irishman fell just short.
McIlroy and Woods’ respective waits for another major continue but the duo will have been encouraged by their Open Performances ahead of the PGA Championship, the final major of 2018.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth also topped the leaderboard briefly but dropped away as he finished with a five-over round of 76 to finish in a tie for ninth on -4.
The fact that strong final rounds saw four Europeans finish in the top eight, including the winner, might also give European captain Thomas Bjorn encouragement going into the Ryder Cup later this year, even though the USA remain favourites to win (Europe 6/5, USA 5/6, Tie 10/1 – Ryder Cup Outright).
The day belonged to Molinari though as he claimed the Claret Jug and he is 25/1 to win the PGA Championship outright.
Odds subject to change.