Molinari claims 1st major with rock-solid Sunday at The Open

Photo of Molinari claims 1st major with rock-solid Sunday at The Open

The summer of Francesco Molinari continued Sunday at The Open, as the veteran fired a rock-solid 69 to become the first Italian to win a major championship.

On a day with blustery conditions wreaking havoc on Carnoustie, Molinari went bogey-free and added two birdies on his final five holes to claim the win by two over Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner, and Justin Rose.

Since missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Molinari has three wins and two second-place finishes in his last six events and is unquestionably the hottest golfer on the planet at the moment.

Place Player Total to par Round 4 score
1 Francesco Molinari -8 69
T2 Xander Schauffele -6 74
T2 Rory McIlroy -6 70
T2 Kevin Kisner -6 74
T2 Justin Rose -6 69
T6 Tiger Woods -5 71
T6 Kevin Chappell -5 73
T6 Eddie Pepperell -5 67
T9 Jordan Spieth -4 76
T9 Matt Kuchar -4 72
T9 Tony Finau -4 71

It looked for the longest time that McIlroy and Rose would be safe for a playoff in the clubhouse at 6-under, but Molinari's brilliance down the stretch saw him emerge as a deserving winner.

The 35-year-old played his final 37 holes of the tournament without a bogey or worse - the first time that's happened since Steve Elkington at the 1995 PGA Championship, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

While Molinari got the win Sunday, one of the major talking points will be Tiger Woods' charge to the top of the leaderboard over the first 10 holes. The three-time winner of The Open entered the final round four shots off the pace but held the solo lead walking to the 11th tee after an opening-nine 34.

Woods' run set social media ablaze with everyone salivating at the possibility of the 42-year-old claiming his first major win since 2008. Unfortunately, the 14-time major champion would double-bogey the 11th and bogey the 12th to see his hopes dashed. Regardless of the struggles down the stretch, seeing Woods contending Sunday in a major after all the back issues was an incredible sight.

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