Francesco Molinari repels slew of challengers to win British Open

Molinari It wasn't about being ruthless to beat Woods

Carnoustie's 18th hole has witnessed its fair share of horror shows but Molinari safely negotiated the snaking Barry Burn with his tee shot before planting his second to six feet. He poured it in, raised his right fist and shook it lightly before slamming it for emphasis. "I know that it's going to sting for a little bit here, but given where I was to where I'm at now, blessed".

He finished two clear of four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, Americans Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele and England's fomer US Open champion Justin Rose, who had to birdie the last on Friday to make the weekend cut. There's a lot more people watching if you're grouped with him.

"It's been a few years since I've felt like this", Woods said.

Spieth, bidding to become the first man to retain the Claret Jug since 2008, eagled the par-four first in a bogey-free 65.

Two hours earlier, Woods had one hand on the Claret Jug for what would have been the fourth time after surging to the lead with a flawless front nine on a day when the previously missing wind finally bared some teeth. "I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn't do it". His best chance was at the 14th, where he three-putted for par from about 40 feet. American Kevin Chappell made the sole birdie and there were 25 bogeys and eight double bogeys or worse. 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.

Scott and Day both finished the tournament at two-under par.

Given that Carnoustie was relatively benign during the third round and 32 players teed off behind him, it was inevitable that he would not stay there.

Woods parred the 17th but still stood two shots off Molinari as they went to the final hole.

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Woods made another bogey after a wayward drive at the hard 12 to fall two back, setting up an nearly must-eagle scenario at the gettable par-5 14 if he was to have a realistic chance to win.

"I'd just want one shot back".

Woods, 42, settled for a final-round 71 and finished three strokes behind Italy's Francesco Molinari - with whom he played the final round - ending up in a tie for sixth.

However, Tommy Fleetwood's chances of becoming the first English victor since Nick Faldo in 1992 looked to have gone after he pulled his third shot on the sixth out of bounds, the resulting double bogey leaving him six off the pace.

He had the outright lead at seven under as he turned but dropped three shots in two holes at the 11th and 12th and never recovered his momentum, eventually finishing three shots behind Molinari.

"Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it".

"Playing with Tiger makes it even more special". He then embraced his caddy, although he still had to wait for Schauffele to come down the last and for his victory to be confirmed.

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