Woods, his playing partner, was the first to congratulate him but the celebration was slightly subdued knowing there were still four players out on the course who could still tie. Jordan Spieth cost himself by failing to make a single birdie. He walked to the next tee with a one-shot lead.
"I'm sure she'll probably call me and talk to me about it because you've got to put things in perspective. But it's been the same the whole of my career".
When it was clear Italian was going to be hoisting the claret jug, Wesley Bryan tweeted out some notes he had been sitting on for some time regarding Molinari's early retirement plans.
And it wasn't an accident.
Woods was so close to a fairytale return to the Open at Carnoustie after a three-year absence, eventually coming up three short of eventual victor Francesco Molinari, having led around the turn in his final round. His victories in the BMW PGA Championship and the Quicken Loans National didn't raise an alarm.
Carnoustie tempered some of that confidence.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid the cheers for Tiger Woods and another insane ending at Carnoustie to win the British Open and become Italy's first major champion. I don't really care too much about it.
"I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling". The trio of Tommy Fleetwood, Pat Perez, and Xander Schauffele stood one shot back, and two shots behind the leaders were Matt Kuchar and McIlroy, part of a five-way tie for sixth place. Whether that means Woods is a lock for the USA team is still to be determined.
Woods had the tournament in his hands after hitting a brilliant fairway bunker shot to make par on No. 10.
In the midst of such great theater, Molinari made his biggest move by not going anywhere at all.
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Woods stumbled with a double bogey on No. 11.
Molinari took the lead for the first time with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th. Molinari parred the first 13 holes before making birdies at No. 14 and No. 18, emerging from a six-way tie at one point atop the leaderboard.
"Sometimes I have a few drinks", said Pepperell, who finished as Woods was in the lead. Molinari punched his fist, signed on a 69 for an 8-under 276, and waited patiently to be crowned king. Despite having won two of his last five tournaments in the build-up to Carnoustie, Molinari was considered an outsider. "He's been playing unbelievable golf".
"And he wouldn't tell you, but he's human", Spieth said. "I've played with him before, so I knew what was coming, and I was ready for it". "It truly is hard work that paid off for Francesco".
"Hopefully, they will get as inspired as I was at the time, watching him vie for the Claret Jug". My record around here was awful, which didn't make me too optimistic about the week, ' he said. It was an astonishing moment in sports, a chance for a bygone legend to recapture a bit of lost glory ... and, alas, it didn't last.
Apparently not. He wound up winning by three shots.
Furyk looked at more than just Woods.
The British Open victory moved Molinari to No. 6 in the world, right in front of McIlroy and Spieth.
"Just disbelief, to be honest", the 35-year-old said.
"Starting out the day, I saw that Jason [Day] played a lovely round early [shooting a 68]".
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But Republican lawmakers maintain that while the Justice Department is turning over more materials, it has yet to fully comply with the subpoenas.