Published: Thu, July 26, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Champion Francesco Molinari hoping Open success will inspire younger generation

Champion Francesco Molinari hoping Open success will inspire younger generation

Francesco Molinari was paired with Woods in the final round of the Open Championship and ended up winning the tournament-even with Woods breathing down his neck.

And it wasn't an accident.

The 28-year-old said: "I'm happy with how I played".

The course for the PGA Championship is going to be, as Andy Johnson of The Fried Egg noted, "dough-boy soft."

Woods held the lead after 60 holes at the 147th Open Championship.

Carnoustie tempered some of that confidence.

Molinari has jumped to World number 6 following his win in the OWGR, but the top ten is still dominated by the Americans who will make for fierce opponents at Paris National at the end of September. "Clearly, in my group, the attention wasn't really on me, let's put it that way".

"When I'm in the hunt, I enjoy it".

It was a memorable moment for Molinari, whose two-shot victory at Carnoustie was all-the-more impressive as he partnered a resurgent Tiger Woods on the final day and had to watch the 14-time major victor take the lead himself at one point.

Woods said he had enjoyed himself on the course with his round only slightly blighted by one spectator yelling out as he addressed his drive at the 18th.

Molinari took the lead for the first time with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th.

It's Major Sunday at Carnoustie, but high winds have made conditions their most hard all week.

"That putt on the last, I'll never forget", he said.

Molinari said he couldn't wait to get home to show the trophy off to his two young children.

Woods was embraced by his two kids and his new girlfriend after hole No. 18.

Callaway also got a fair amount of milage from the Open, as the golf gear brand throughout the four-day tourney was featured several times in NBC's "Playing Through" ad format.

"And he wouldn't tell you, but he's human", Spieth said. "I see him in the gym all the time, going through his routine, grinding on the range, doing his own stuff". I'm certainly happy for him. "It's incredible to do something like this and I'm very proud of what I've done".

History maker Francesco Molinari will arrive at Royal Portrush next July as defending champion for the 148th Open as the countdown now begins to the biggest global sporting event ever hosted by this country.

It was another case of what might have been in a major for McIlroy after he threatened to deliver victory at the British Open before settling for a tie for second place. Pepperell admitted to having too much to drink on Saturday night, though was no worse for wear considering the result, a 67 that helped propel him to his first top-10 major finish.

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