Rory: Tiger not as feared but still a major threat

26 July, 2018, 20:15 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Italian idol Rocca yesterday at St Andrews the venue for this week’s Senior Open

Despite the pressure of playing alongside golf great Tiger Woods, who was himself in title contention, Molinari produced a brilliant final round of 69 to win the Open at the Carnoustie course in Scotland on Sunday.

He had looked assured as he began with four pars but a bogey at the fifth rattled him and the wheels fell off when a trip to a gorse bush ended with a double-bogey at the sixth. "So you know it's there, but I don't feel like it affected me in any way".

But McIlroy produced just the sort of burst he has become renowned for.

Another dropped shot at the 17th meant he needed to hole his approach to No. 18 for eagle to force a playoff, but it settled about 12 feet short.

Twelve players were within four shots of the lead heading into today's final round, and that has already been cut down to seven.

"What he is doing now is off the charts in terms of his physical capacity to play the game". 'The celebrations were not too wild, there was just a lot of joy to share with my wife, my caddie, my manager and a few friends telling stories about the week, ' he said.

"That putt on the last, I'll never forget", he said.

The Northern Irishman eagled the 14th at Carnoustie to move into a share of the lead but he finished two shots behind victor Francesco Molinari.

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Despite having won two of his last five tournaments in the build-up to Carnoustie, Molinari was considered an outsider.

Molinari said that playing alongside Tiger Woods for the final round added to the pleasure. And while Molinari would end the day with his name etched on the Claret Jug, Woods' lethal performance on the front nine was further proof that the so-called "Tiger Effect" isn't just a chimera the network ad sales execs trot out whenever they want to close a big golf client.

McIlroy had struggled to make any headway but when he eagled the 14th he rocketed to the top of the leaderboard. I had to face a little bit of adversity early in the round, and I still gave myself a chance.

"He's like, 'He hasn't been in this position in 10 years, and you've been here how many times in the last three years?' He was throwing it back at me", Spieth said.

"So there's going to be a lot of European guys vying for his partnership in the foursomes at the Ryder Cup, that's for sure".

Yesterday, people on Twitter were proclaiming Tiger is back, sharing some greatest hits from Woods' incredible career. "It was nice to be a part of it".

"He is not going to play him five times, but I think he has only ever lost two singles matches". I played with him the final day at Wentworth and he didn't miss a shot.



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