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Francesco Molinari Tops Rory McIlroy and More Stars to Win 2018 British Open

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2018

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22:  Francesco Molinari of Italy celebrates a birdie on the 18th hole during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

After pulling out a victory at the 2018 British Open at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland, on Sunday, Francesco Molinari earned himself the Claret Jug—and a nice payday.

He managed to outlast the field in what was an entertaining finish at the Open Championship, with plenty of drama throughout the day.

Below is a look at how the final round shook out as well as the prize money for the top performers.

         

The Open Championship 2018 Leaderboard and Payouts

1. Francesco Molinari 69 (-8) $1,872,770

T2. Rory McIlroy 70 (-6) $687,349

T2. Justin Rose 69 (-6) $687,349

T2. Kevin Kisner 74 (-6) $687,349

T2. Xander Schauffele 74 (-6) $687,349

T6. Eddie Pepperell 67 (-5) $324,166

T6. Tiger Woods 71 (-5) $324,166

T6. Kevin Chappell 73 (-5) $324,166

*Full leaderboard can be viewed on the Open's official website. Purse and payout information courtesy of ESPN's Darren Rovell.

Molinari didn't have the most thrilling day, but he managed to do what many of his competitors failed to do—avoid a major mistake.

He shot an even par on each of the first 13 holes of the day. But with a major title on the line, Molinari came through in the clutch with two birdies over the final five holes.

Golf Central @GolfCentral

Bogey-free 69 (-2) on Sunday at #TheOpen for @F_Molinari. He's the leader in the clubhouse at -8. https://t.co/qM6P0IZjca

With the win, the 35-year-old Italian made history:

The Open @TheOpen

The first ever Italian Major Champion 🇮🇹 #TheOpen https://t.co/z2jOKL6fTD

Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth entered the final round in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard, but he quickly ran into trouble and was never able to recover. After shooting worse than par just once in the previous two rounds, he fell off pace after posting a bogey and a double bogey on back-to-back holes on the front nine.

Those struggles not only cost him the Claret Jug, but a nice chunk of change as well. He wound up tied for ninth at four-under for the tournament after shooting a five-over 76 on Sunday.

Tiger Woods, on the other hand, made an early surge. He managed to grab the solo lead behind the strength of a two-under through his first 10 holes, but a double bogey on 11 followed by a bogey on 12 made his quest for a fourth Open title an uphill battle.

He did manage to stay in contention, however, with the help of a birdie on 14:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Tiger. Birdie. BANG! #TheOpen https://t.co/D1eylbW5dt

Woods failed to give himself any chance at a potential playoff by just missing a birdie putt on his final hole and had to settle for sixth place, three strokes back of the lead. He still has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.

Rory McIlroy had himself an up-and-down round as he posted three bogeys and two birdies on Sunday. Fortunately for him, though, he managed to sink a deep putt for eagle on 14 to give himself a chance:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

RORS! 🗣️ #TheOpen https://t.co/6wGUv1EjGk

A shot like that is more than deserving of a fist pump.

In the end, Molinari was just too steady on this day. He entered the tournament with just one career PGA Tour victory, which came at the Quicken Loans National earlier this month. He now has two wins and a second-place finish in his last three appearances.

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