Oh my goodness, what an absolute FANTASTIC Sunday at the artist known as Carnasty. After 3 days of some fantastic golf, the entire golf world got put on its head when Sunday turned into an absolute slobber knocker. When I use the term #liveoverpar, I mean for us normal people pros, not you guys! Out of the 79 players to tee off on Sunday, only 14 put numbers in the red, with Eddie Pepperell shooting the low round of 67.
Speaking of which, what if I told you that Eddie decided to hit the town last night and woke up a little hungover to play his final round? I would be crazy, right? WRONG:
So while one Englishmen took down Carnoustie with a BAC close to the legal limit, another went out trying to prove all of the haters incorrect. Justin Rose needed to make a birdie on 18 on Friday just to make the cut, and then went out on Saturday and shot the low round of the tournament (64, -7). He struggled a little bit to start on Sunday, but that all changed on the 14th Hole.
The clouds opened up, English Jesus appeared to all, and let Justin Rose take the wheel to guide him to a 2-under 69 (nice). After being close at the US Open only to fall apart on Sunday, it was great to see him bounce back and finish with a T2 in what is probably his coveted championship.
The final group of the day, consisting of Xander Schauffele and Jordan Speith, was an absolute bloodbath. In what is becoming a tradition unlike any other, Jordan Speith completely fell apart on a Sunday at a major, shooting a 5 over 76 and dropping from 1st place to T9. While Speith struggled all day, his partner Schauffele also saw some struggles. His ball seemed to be a laser for pot bunkers all day, but Xander continued to get out of the most treacherous areas.
The young 23-year-old finished +3 on the day, -6 on the tournament with a T2 on the leaderboard. Last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year continues to show he belongs on Tour, and the future looks bright for him.
However, probably THE pinnacle of this tournament (sorry, Frank) was the return of Tiger watch. And what an emotional roller coaster did we have over a 3 hour period. This was Tiger’s first British since 2015, but the rust seemed to be off on Sunday. And at one point, Tiger was the Co-Leader and even the Solo Leader of The Open. The internet, as it always does, reacted accordingly.
Unfortunately for Tiger and all of the fanboys (which I am of course one), this lead would not last. Tiger would double-bogey 11 and bogey 12, and ultimately finished T6. While this was disappointing, it was Tiger’s best finish in a major since 2013 (T6 at The Open), and we may be seeing a resurrection of the 42-year-old’s career.
Which brings us finally to Tiger’s playing partner and the Championship Golfer of the Year, Francesco Molinari. And boy, what a weekend old Frankie had out there. Molinari bogeyed the 17th hole in his Friday round and followed that with 37 holes of playing bogey-free golf. None of these bogey-free holes were more important than on the 16th hole, where Molinari was able to not it close from off the green to remain in the lead.
Coming up the 18th hole, Molinari was still tied with Schauffele. Frankie was able to hit a drive right down the middle of the fairway, followed by this approach to the green.
Yes, that was Tiger’s ball right in there, and many people thought that would be the best shot of the day. Molinari said, “oh no no” and plopped it right in there. He was able to make the putt, go up to -8, and finish in the clubhouse with a 2 stroke lead.
This tournament was able to be a showcase for the world’s best, and we got to see a champion from a non-traditional golf country. This will help to grow the game in Italy, where the 2022 Ryder Cup will be taking place, and hopefully show other European countries that even if you are not from the UK, you can compete in golf. So that’s a wrap from Carnoustie in 2018, here’s to another great tournament at Royal Portrush in 2019!