Molinari shoots 2-under 69 to win Open Championship

Spieth's title defense at British Open ends without a bang

A bogey on that demanding hole ended his round of 74 and dropped him into tie for second at 6 under with England's Justin Rose (who shot a 69 on Sunday), Rory McIlroy (70) of Northern Ireland, and Kisner (74).

"When you put yourself in position enough times, it goes your way sometimes, it doesn't go your way sometimes", said Spieth, who wound up at 4-under 280. "But it's been the same the whole of my career". Molinari, 35, certainly earned his Claret Jug, playing nearly flawless golf on a gusty day off the eastern Scottish coast.

And it wasn't an accident.

Woods brought pandemonium by charging into the lead on Sunday at a major for the first time in nine years, only to lose it with one bad hole. All he did at the BMW PGA Championship was go head-to-head with McIlroy in the final round and beat him by two. One of those was three weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National when he shot 62 in the final round and Woods, the tournament host, presented him the trophy.

Carnoustie tempered some of that confidence. Not all at the same time, but enough to where I haven't really been able to compete.

"I've just thoroughly enjoyed being here", Locke said.

And yet there he was in the final round, with major champions in front of him and behind him and the biggest one of them all - Woods next to him in a final round so wild that seven players had a share of the lead at various times, and six players were tied on the back nine.

Francesco Molinari's win at the British Open has broken the American stranglehold on golf's major championships, with a US golfer having won the previous five. The steady, light rain made them a little slower and a lot more predictable. He opened with 13 pars, including the 12th and 13th holes as Woods lost the lead with a double bogey and a bogey. Into the wind on the par-5 sixth, three deep bunkers to the right and out-of-bounds to the left, he got to the front of the green with a driver and a 3-wood for another birdie.

Molinari would be the first Italian to win a major championship.

"I saw (the leaderboard) on maybe seven or eight, it was an accident", he said.

Molinari closed with a 69, significant for two reasons. He finished at 8 under for 72 holes with a bogey-free round to win the Claret Jug by two shots.

"He's been playing unbelievable golf".

Spieth will draw on his experience and "expect the unexpected" after his drama at Birkdale and his infamous Masters collapse in 2016, but he says he has nothing to prove to anyone but himself now.

Carnoustie was a far different test from the opening round, when sunshine baked the fairways crisp and it was hard to figure out how far the ball was going when it hit the ground. It truly is hard work that paid off for Francesco. So I was happy with my score. I missed a few shots, but I was up-and-down from pretty well from everywhere.

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) - Michael Thorbjornsen rallied to win the U.S. Junior Amateur on Saturday, beating fellow 16-year-old Akshay Bhatia 1 up in the 36-hole on Baltusrol's Upper Course. Westwood beat everyone else by nine shots in the HSBC Champions and lost by one to Molinari.

"I think I played it out at Augusta in my head".

By contrast, Molinari gained his first shot of the day at the par-five 14th and, just as crucially, holed clutch par putts on the 15th and 16th.

Daly wound up winning the four-hole playoff.

"It's been a tough fight", Molinari said modestly in congratulating the four guys who finished second. "Obviously, to achieve something like this is on another level". Fired up by that, he played even better on the next hole as he turned for home. I've had different parts. being at kind of a low point in my career. "It's all there, and it's moving in the right direction", he said.

"He's always been a great player", McIlroy said.

Just disbelief, to be honest.

Jordan Spieth is hoping to join the elite group of golfers to have retained the British Open title as he goes into the final round at Carnoustie on Sunday in a share of the lead.



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