Faultless Molinari holds nerve amid thrilling finish to land Open title

Kristopher Nichols
July 23, 2018

Jordan Spieth of the USA and his caddie Michale Greller line up a putt on the 9th hole during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Saturday July 21, 2018.

Woods shot 66 and is in a tie for sixth place with six more players, including Rory McIlroy (70) and Tommy Fleetwood (71). Just when he took the lead and everyone's imagination began to swirl about what might be, he kicked away his best chance of breaking a decade-long drought in major championships.

It might sting even worse for Spieth.

"A little ticked off at myself, for sure", Woods said.

The 42-year-old's hopes of a remarkable comeback after a turbulent spell in his life - during which he has encountered off-course problems with the break-up of his marriage and a run-in with the law - were alive and well on the back nine.

Koepka is 3 over for the tournament, 10 shots off the lead.

Then his tee shot went right, and his second shot veered way left. "I really did. I hit a lot of good shots", Woods told reporters.

He's four shots back of Spieth and two others after a sparkling 5-under 66. Another bogey on the next hole, and he was basically out of the tournament.

Woods isn't the only one who thinks so. He finally broke the sequence with a birdie at the 14th and, at seven under par, led The Open by a shot.

In the end, it was a nerveless 35-year-old from Turin, Italy that got the job done. Playing a major, let alone contending in one, seemed like a reasonable goal.

"It didn't feel any different", he insisted.

"When I came here, I felt I was ready for the challenge".

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"I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could".

The dangers lurking for the title contenders were all too apparent though with Shaun Norris, playing partner of an inspired Tiger Woods on Saturday, making a quadruple-bogey eight on the first hole.

"I've always wanted to battle it out with Tiger in a major - who hasn't?"

Still, on Saturday he did his best imitation yet of Tiger Woods in his prime.

This was their chance to help bring Tiger Woods home.

Woods got off to a tricky start as he bogeyed two of the first three holes to put himself two-over for the week. "But who knows? They're damn good players". Like I said, I hadn't felt the energy of the crowd for a while in The Open. "Now they just want to go play soccer with me so that's just such a great feeling".

It was a tender moment between a father and his kids, but also another reminder that Father Time waits for no one.

Woods might not win The Open this week, and he might not win the PGA Championship at Bellerive in August, and we can still debate whether or not he can catch Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.

Finishing at 8-under, Italian golfer Francesco Molinari won the British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland, Sunday.

Tiger Woods led the freakin' Open Championship with nine holes to play.

Kevin Kisner of the United States walks along the 17th fairway during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Saturday July 21, 2018.

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