Sunday, 16 December, 2018

What Francesco Molinari said after winning The Open

Tiger Woods moves into share of lead at British Open Tiger roars up leaderboard as 3 tie for lead at Open Championship
Jennie Wade | 25 July, 2018, 22:27

Not all at the same time, but enough to where I haven't really been able to compete.

On a day of calm conditions, low scores and endless cheers, the biggest buzz on Saturday was anticipating what the final round might bring. "I know he made a couple of putts here and there for par, but to get it to where it was basically a kick-in from some of the spots he put himself in, that was impressive".

Jordan Spieth will take a share of the lead into the final round of the 147th British Open Championship as he looks to become the first back-to-back victor for a decade.

Spieth was at 9-under 204.

Tiger Woods capped a three-under front nine with a long birdie putt.

Tommy Fleetwood also started his round at 5-under, like Woods, and birdied the first to a massive ovation.

"The wind is supposed to pick up, so that might be a helping hand", said Fleetwood, who holds the course record at Carnoustie with a 63 at the Dunhill Championship past year and also shot 63 on the final day of the US Open last month to finish second behind Brooks Koepka.

Starting the day at even par through the first two rounds of the tournament, Woods made his first birdie of the day at the fourth hole. But it was there.

But he could get the battle with Tiger Woods he has always pictured in his head with the 14-time major victor lurking ominously among the chasing pack after a thrilling day of low scoring at a defenceless Carnoustie. And even though I made that birdie on the second, which was a good start, I couldn't really capitalise on that start.

Tiger Woods of the U.S. walks on to the 18th green during the final round
Tiger Woods of the U.S. walks on to the 18th green during the final round

"I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10-under par today". Xander Schauffele was second, two strokes back.

Francesco Molinari had a 66 and will play in the third-to-last group with Woods.

Molinari, 35, won his first PGA Tour title earlier this month at the Quicken Loans National. I'm not surprised. He seemed confident walking off the putting green today, the little that we talked. This is his 12th tournament of the year, and Woods has been among the top 10 just once - the Valspar Championship in March - going into the weekend.

Heading into the final hole, Molinari was two strokes ahead of Woods at 7under, and tied for the lead with Schauffele, who was about to tee off at No. 17. He made double bogey for a 70 that cost him a two-shot lead, but not his outlook. He shot 72 and was in the group four behind.

And the prospect of being stalked by Woods, just four shots back after a 66, is one Spieth is relishing, certainly more than his razor cut.

Three players - including defending champion Jordan Spieth - are tied at the top of the leaderboard at 9-under par.

Tiger Woods may have had to watch playing partner Francesco Molinari lift The Claret Jug after winning the British Open but all his rivals will have taken note of the American's return to form. Rose is No. 3 and almost joined them until he made an 18-foot birdie putt on the last hole to make the cut on the number. Schauffele chopped up the next hole for double bogey.

Spieth walked to the tee with coach Cameron McCormick and asked him, "How about I just send it on No. 1?" "I'm relearning. I feel like I've won quite a few more recently than he has, but you still have to relearn to deal with it". "I told them I tried and I said, 'Hopefully you're proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did, '" Woods said.

One of the house rules: victor pays for the flight home, though not everyone will be on the same plane this year with players headed in too many different directions. And doing so a year after his fourth back surgery. "I need to go get it", Woods said.

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