July 22, 2018 / 5:58 PM / a month ago

Golf--Molinari wins Open to become Italy's first major champion

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 22 (Reuters) - Francesco Molinari became Italy’s first major champion after firing a closing two-under-par 69 to win the British Open at Carnoustie on Sunday.

The 35-year-old from Turin underlined his status as the hottest player in world golf by finishing with an eight-under total of 276.

Molinari, playing alongside former world number one Tiger Woods in the final round, produced a joyful first-pump and hugged his caddie after holing a five-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole.

It was the Italian’s third victory in five starts. He also ended as runner-up in the other two tournaments.

Woods appeared ready to end his 10-year victory drought in majors midway through the round. The American topped the leaderboard until his hopes nosedived following a double-bogey at the 11th and another dropped stroke at the next hole.

The 14-times major winner had to settle for a closing 71 and a 279 aggregate. “The way Francesco played today was beautiful,” said Woods. (Editing by Martyn Herman)

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