British Open: Molinari becomes first Italian to win a major golf title

Francesco Molinari of Italy is congratulated by Tiger Woods of the United States after a birdie on the 18th hole during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club

"Oh, it was a blast", said Woods, who was also delighted to have had his children see him perform well after years of watching him struggle.

Woods completed the tourney in sixth place, three shots back of Molinari, his playing partner.

They were at 9-under 204.

Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in the British Open and a big edge in experience.

Tiger Woods turned back the clock and briefly tied for the lead en route a 5-under 66 as players plundered Carnoustie in flawless conditions in the third round of the British Open on Saturday. Woods and Schauffele now shared the lead.

But he could get the battle with Tiger Woods he has always pictured in his head with the 14-time major victor lurking ominously among the chasing pack after a thrilling day of low scoring at a defenceless Carnoustie.

Koepka is 3 over for the tournament, 10 shots off the lead.

And a top 25 finish at the US Open was followed up by a win at the Quicken Loans then a runner up finish at the John Deere last week. But even the appeal of Spieth was no match for seeing Woods, in his traditional red shirt, in the mix at a major.

Molinari assumed the lead at 7 under on the 14th hole with a two-putt birdie, and Schauffele tied him with a like birdie two groups hence.

The 14-times major victor had to settle for a closing 71 and a 279 aggregate. He missed an 8-footer on No. 5 for the outright lead.

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There is no question that Tiger Woods is a contender once again and that is all that matters. Spieth hit into a gorse bush and made double bogey on the par-5 sixth.

Molinari closed with a 2-under 69, playing the final 37 holes on the toughest links in golf without a bogey. "If I could just keep hitting the ball the way I did today and putt a little bit better, tomorrow will be a better day", he added.

"I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn't do it".

Justin Rose's last-gasp birdie that saw him sneak him into the weekend at the British Open galvanised the Olympic champion into a sublime seven-under-par 64 on Saturday that gave him a glimmer of hope that he can go on and win the title. Schauffele got back on track with a birdie at No. 14 to pull into a tie with eventual victor Francesco Molinari on the 16th tee, but he fell away by making bogey on the next hole.

The Adidas athlete was last year's Rookie of the Year on the tour and made a statement today, finishing just behind Molinari.

Molinari strung together back-to-back bogey-free holes to conclude his victory.

The 24-year-old American put himself in a three-way tie for the lead with compatriots Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner after a superb third-round 65 on Saturday.

Tiger Woods is out on the course, making a par on the first hole.

Holes were running out and the par-three 16th which had withstood all the preceding golfers during the round also refused to yield to him. He was awarded the silver medal as low amateur, a victory for both Locke and his mentor, Paul Lawrie, whose 1999 win at Carnoustie was the last by a Scotsman at the British Open. "No one was yelling at me so I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing".

The third round began with little more than a mild breeze, and several players were taking advantage. He made double-bogey on the 11th after needing four shots to reach the green. Obviously, if you would still probably be doable even dropping shots there, but it would have made it a lot harder.

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