Francesco Molinari of Italy on the 18th hole after the final round for the 147th British Open Golf championships in Carnoustie, Scotland, Sunday, July 22, 2018(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Italy's Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

July 22, 2018 - 8:23 pm
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CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — 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.

Molinari 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.

The 35-year-old Molinari finished at 8-under 276, the lowest score in eight Opens at Carnoustie.

Earlier in the day, playing partner Woods had every reason to believe he would cap a most amazing comeback. He had a one-shot lead until a double bogey on the 11th hole, a bogey on the next.

Woods closed with a 71 to tie for sixth, three shots behind. It was the first time since 2007 that he trailed going into the final round of a major, had the lead and failed to win.

The victory adds to Molinari's best stretch of golf. Now at a career-best No. 6 in the world, he has won three times and been runner-up twice in the past two months.

Rory McIlroy (70), Kevin Kisner (74), Justin Rose (69) and Xander Schauffele (74) tied for second, two stroke back. Spieth went from a bogey-free round on Saturday that gave him a share of the lead to a birdie-free round that led to a 76, his highest Sunday score in a major.

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PGA TOUR

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A thunderstorm suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

The third stoppage of play Sunday at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders — Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18-under par — and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play also was stopped to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole.

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WEB.COM TOUR

ELKHORN, Neb. (AP) — David Skinns rallied to win the Pinnacle Bank Championship for his first Web.com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory.

The 36-year-old Englishman finished at 16-under 268 at The Club at Indian Creek. He earned $108,000 to jump from 132nd to 33rd on the money list with $126,192, with the top 25 at the end of the regular season earning PGA Tour cards. He played at the University of Tennessee.

Money leader Sungjae Im was second after a 67. Kramer Hickok (67) followed at 13 under, and third-round leader Dawie van der Walt (71) and Roberto Castro (65) were 12 under.

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U.S. GOLF ASSOCIATION

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Michael Thorbjornsen rallied to win the U.S. Junior Amateur on Saturday, beating fellow 16-year-old Akshay Bhatia 1 up in the 36-hole on Baltusrol's Upper Course.

Thorbjornsen, from Wellesley, Massachusetts, birdied the par-4 30th hole — after his drive hit a tree and landed in the fairway — to square the match. He took the lead for the first time on the par-4 32nd, driving the 302-yard hole and two-putting for birdie. On the par-4 closing hole, he hit a 42-foot birdie putt to 2 feet to set up the winning par.

Bhatia, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, missed a tying 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 35th hole. On the 36th, he missed a 45-foot birdie try from the front fringe.

Thorbjornsen earned a spot in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and 2019 U.S. Amateur. With their semifinal victories, Bhatia and Thorbjornsen got spots in the U.S. Amateur next month at Pebble Beach.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Yealimi Noh beat Alexa Pano 4 and 3 on Saturday in the U.S. Girls' Junior title match to cap a long day at Poppy Hills.

The 16-year-old Noh, from Concord, California, reached the final in the morning with a 3-and-2 victory over Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the fog-delayed semifinals. Noh played 49 holes Saturday and Pano 51, believed to be the most ever on the final day of a USGA championship.

Noh won a week after breaking the Girls Junior PGA Championship scoring record at 24-under 264 at Kearney Hill in Lexington, Kentucky.

The 13-year-old Pano, from Lake Worth, Florida, advanced to the final with a 1-up semifinal victory over medalist Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California.

Noh earned a position next year in the U.S. Women's Open at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. She also gets spots in the next two U.S. Women's Amateurs.

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OTHER TOURS

MEN

China's Yechun Yuan won the Qingdao Championship to become the second amateur winner in PGA Tour China history. The 21-year-old Yuan played three seasons at the University of Washington. He closed with an even-par 72 at Tiger Beach for a one-stroke victory over England's Callum Tarren. ... Tyler McCumber won the Osprey Valley Open in Caledon, Ontario, for his first Mackenzie Tour title. The 27-year-old McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, finished with an even-par 72 in rainy conditions after shooting 65-61-65 to take a tour-record, seven-stroke lead into the final round. Michael Gellerman was second, a stroke back at 24 under after a 63-65 weekend. McCumber has three PGA Tour Latinoamerica victories.

WOMEN

Kristen Gillman won the Japan LPGA's Century 21 Ladies Golf Tournament by four strokes for the University of Alabama player's first victory in a professional event. Coming off the United States' Palmer Cup victory, Gillman shot a 5-under 67 to finish at 17 under at Seta Golf Course. Gillman, the 20-year-old Austin, Texas, player, won the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur, starred in the Curtis Cup. Japan's Ayako Kimura and Sakura Koiwai tied for second. ... South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong won the Symetra Tour's Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic in Rochester, New York, outlasting Stephanie Meadow in a playoff. Seong won with a birdie on the fourth extra trip down the par-3 18th. She finished with a 5-under 67, bogeying the final two holes to drop into the tie with Meadow (71) at 12 under. ... Lee So Young won the Korean LPGA's MY Moonyoung Queens Park Championship. The South Korean player shot 69-61-68 at Solmoro Country Club.

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