Italian Molinari wins British Open


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Associated Press

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland

Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid the cheers for Tiger Woods and another crazy ending at Carnoustie to win the British Open and become Italy’s first major champion.

Woods brought pandemonium by charging into the lead on Sunday at a major for the first time in nine years, only to lose it with one bad hole. Jordan Spieth cost himself by failing to make a single birdie.

Seven players had a share of the lead at some point. Six were still tied on the back nine.

Through all that, Molinari never flinched.

He closed with a 2-under 69, playing the final 37 holes on the toughest links in golf without a bogey. The clincher was a bold drive on the 18th hole that flirted with edge of a pot bunker, a wedge to 5 feet and a birdie putt that gave him a lead no one in the last two groups was able to erase.

Molinari raised his fist and shook it lightly before slamming it for emphasis.

“Just disbelief, to be honest,” the 35-year-old said with the gleaming claret jug in front of him. “To go the weekend bogey-free, it’s unthinkable. Playing with Tiger was another challenge. But I felt really good this morning. I felt I was ready for the challenge.”

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