STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Francesco Molinari delights in Open victory

After becoming the first-ever Italian golfer to win a major championship, CNN' Sport's Alex Thomas sat down with Francesco Molinari shortly after he won the 147th playing of The Open Championship, to reflect on his victory and what it means to Italian sports fans.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 12:07 AM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 12:34 AM

For 38 minutes, it looked as though Tiger Woods was going to pull off the impossible.

Just three years after multiple back surgeries had made even getting out of bed agony, much less playing golf, here he was, leading the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Then came a double bogey on the 11th, followed by a bogey on the 12th, which saw Woods lose his lead and his challenge for a 15th major unravel.

"I know it's going to sting for a little bit here," Woods said of his two hole collapse, but he remained philosophical. "Given where I was, to where I am now, I'm blessed.

READ: Francesco Molinari wins British Open as Tiger Woods falls short

READ: Ash Turner's journey with cerebral palsy to Open Championship debut

"At the beginning of the year, if they'd said you're playing the Open Championship I'd have said I would be very lucky to do that."

Can Woods win another major?

Though he ultimately came up short, nobody in golf gets people talking quite like Woods.

The Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker showed a heat map of Twitter users in the US talking about Woods as he was making his surge to the top of the leaderboard.

This was, after all, the first time Woods had led on the Sunday of a major since the 2009 PGA Championship.

He may not have won, but an eventual tie for sixth means Woods has now risen from world No. 1,199 to 50th, a ranking which sees him qualify for next month's WGC Invitational.

Among the chatter, naturally, came the question: Can Woods win another major?

For some, though he didn't go all the way in Scotland, his performance at Carnoustie indicated that he was back in major-contending form.

For others, it was an indication that he might even be able to go four better and equal Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles.

Since Woods' return, even when dodgy form meant he wasn't in contention for winning tournaments, he's still remained a huge draw with golf fans following him everywhere on course.

But following Woods on Sunday did have its dangers for one spectator when an errant iron shot from the golfer hit him at the side of the fairway.

It just so happened that Colin Hauck, a massive Woods fan, had his phone out and recorded the moment he was struck by the wayward approach shot.

Fortunately for 14-time major champion, the ricochet deflected the ball away from the thick bushes and gave him a more favorable lie in the rough.

To say thank you for the intervention, Woods gifted Hauck a signed glove, which was arguably worth the trouble of being hit on the head by a golf ball.

In the end, it was Francesco Molinari's own dream finish which put an end to Woods'.

But while Woods has been accustomed to winning on golf's biggest stage for more than two decades, Molinari's victory was a reminder of just how far the Italian has come.

In 2006, 12 years prior to making history as Italy's first major winner, Molinari was caddying for his older brother Edoardo, then an amateur, who was paired with Woods at the 2006 Masters.

On Sunday, 12 years later, Molinari was paired with Woods on the final day of a major and held off his charge to win the biggest title of his career.

Huntsville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Florence
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Fayetteville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61960

Reported Deaths: 741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13594224
Davidson13309143
Rutherford360239
Hamilton336438
Sumner194556
Williamson176316
Knox16209
Trousdale15105
Out of TN141610
Wilson118717
Putnam10197
Bradley9724
Robertson94813
Sevier9123
Unassigned8902
Montgomery7787
Tipton6987
Lake6960
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6249
Macon6037
Hamblen4744
Maury4623
Hardeman4184
Fayette3705
Madison3632
Rhea3430
Blount3393
Loudon3282
Dyer2923
McMinn28419
Cheatham2753
Dickson2750
Washington2620
Lawrence2396
Cumberland2214
Sullivan2214
Anderson2002
Jefferson1871
Lauderdale1824
Gibson1811
Smith1602
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Coffee1430
Cocke1380
Hardin1287
Warren1270
Obion1243
Haywood1213
Marshall1182
Franklin1163
Wayne1160
McNairy1071
Carter1052
Giles1051
Hickman1050
Marion954
Hawkins912
Lincoln870
White863
DeKalb850
Roane850
Henderson740
Weakley741
Overton731
Campbell701
Chester690
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Unicoi580
Grainger560
Polk550
Crockett543
Henry530
Carroll521
Cannon500
Sequatchie490
Humphreys472
Jackson470
Johnson460
Meigs380
Perry380
Morgan321
Decatur290
Scott280
Fentress270
Stewart260
Union240
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock120
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events