Take an alternative look at the final leaderboard of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, won by Francesco Molinari.
Francesco Molinari – Champion
Best player on the course. And on the planet at the moment. Played with Tiger Woods and came through that test – and with huge galleries – superbly. Didn’t make a bogey all weekend to win and actually made it look a little easy in the end. Didn’t he beat Tiger when they were paired in singles at the Ryder Cup a while back?
Justin Rose – T2
Needed to birdie 18th on Friday to make the cut. He made that putt and then produced the lowest round at Carnoustie in Major history on Saturday. Came awfully close but will rue a slow-ish Sunday, bolstered really by an eagle on 14th and a fourth birdie of the championship on the last. It’s another great result on paper but Rose will be desperate to finally get his hands on the Claret Jug.
Rory McIlroy – T2
Will be pleased to have banked a good finish but like Rose, must have some regret of not getting over the line. Like the Masters earlier in the year, he had a massive chance this week but his putter looked as indifferent as ever. Still, you feel he’ll win a few titles this year (Nedbank Golf Challenge!?) when that putter starts working.
Kevin Kisner – T2
Hit 27% of fairways and went out in 40. He’ll be wondering where that came from as he played so well over the first three days. The wind, the co-lead, with a Major on the line can do strange, strange things.
Xander Schauffele – T2
He’ll be licking his wounds. Or at least should be able to after his early round wobble left him playing catch-up. Four shots gone after seven holes was a terrible start, but he pulled it back nicely and his swing held up reasonably well under the stress until the 17th. Costly failure to par the last after a great drive seemingly set up second alone.
Eddie Pepperell – T6
The Englishman admitted he had too much to drink after being frustrated after Saturday. Duly climbed 30 places and almost got himself in a playoff. Massive result for a massive character of the game. I’ll be glued to his Twitter account for the next few days to see what kind of mischief he gets up to.
Tiger Woods – T6
Almost pulled off the unthinkable after co-leading and then leading. His game was looking as vintage as ever until dropping three shots on 11th and 12th. Bold to say he’s making a habit of leading or getting into a great spot for a charge at the win before a couple of mistakes sends him spiraling. After today, you’d have to think Major number 15 is coming… maybe next year at Royal Portrush?
Kevin Chappell – T6
Some truly shocking swings – what on earth did he do on 17th? – on Sunday but hung in there for a good finish.
– By Wade Pretorius