Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship to become first Italian major champion

Francesco Molinari secured a memorable Open title

Woods stirred this remote Scottish town on a balmy afternoon, his name going to the top of the competitors in the 147th Open when he two-putted the 14th green for a birdie. But it was significant nonetheless.

For much of his career, if Tiger Woods said he had a shot to win a major golf tournament, you believed him.

"It would be better on Sunday, but I'm right there. I've got a chance at this, which is great".

A charging Tiger Woods was breathing down the necks of the leaders early in his final round of an absorbing British Open at Carnoustie on Sunday. Woods then bogeyed the par-3 16th, getting a bad break off the tee but failing to get up and down from off the green. With a pair of birdies and eight pars through the first 10 holes Sunday, Woods surged into the lead, but promptly relinquished it with a double bogey on the 11th and a bogey on the 12th. He got within about a foot and ended up with par on the hole. He waved his black cap and raised his mallet-style putter to a roaring crowd - knowledgeable fans who were appreciative not just of Woods making his first Open start since 2015, but actually coming close to winning the damn thing.

But while a year ago Spieth survived a wobble in the final round at Royal Birkdale to take the title, this time he was too erratic, not recovering from a bogey at the fifth that was followed by a double-bogey at the long sixth where his second shot found a gorse bush.

The former Ryder Cup player started the day back in the pack but he galloped his way through the field with three front-nine birdies before gaining more strokes at the 10th, 14th and 16th.

But despite leading the field in driving accuracy heading into the final round, he could not find the burned-out short grass at the 11th and 12th holes, and it cost him dearly. 'I think this will set me up for the rest of the year and now I can look forward to the season's final major next month'. "But here I am with a chance Sunday in a major championship".

"That's certainly doable with hopefully the weather that comes in tomorrow", Woods said of his chances.

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Sunday's result was not what numerous thousands who tracked through the humps and hollows of the links course wanted, though it probably was for the male spectator who heckled Woods as he hit his drive at the final hole.

For Woods, a return to championship form would take on special meaning, given the personal demons and injuries he has overcome.

"When you put yourself in position enough times, it goes your way sometimes, it doesn't go your way sometimes", said Spieth, who was hoping to become only the third player to win four majors before turning 25, after Young Tom Morris and Woods.

Tiger Woods admits contending at the Open felt just like the old days and was delighted his two children finally got to see what all the fuss was about.

If nothing else, Woods gave himself a boost heading into the final round.

This year he's showed signs of softening, of being kinder and gentler.

"Serena and I are good friends", said the 42-year-old, whose last major triumph came back in 2008.

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