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Francesco Molinari wins 'an Open to remind the sporting public of golf's magic'

Francesco Molinari wins 'an Open to remind the sporting public of golf's magic'

Francesco Molinari's brilliant victory capped a classic Open that proved golf's oldest championship remains the most relevant in the game.

A parched, fast-running Carnoustie provided a fitting stage for the world's best players to demonstrate their skills. They were tested to the maximum, and we witnessed a thrilling climax to a tournament won by the best player in the world at the moment.

Isn't that how it should be? This was not a course set up to punish and expose players but more to provide a canvas on which they could demonstrate their immense skills.

The result was an epic Open won by the most deserving player, who finished at eight under par.

"Carnoustie always seems to produce very special Opens, one way and another," Molinari told BBC Sport the morning after clinching his first major title.

"Maybe there wasn't quite as much drama yesterday but there were a lot of players close to the lead with a chance and I was very proud to handle myself the way I did and to come out on top."

Molinari proved wrong the doubters (I was one) who felt it was asking too much to instantly switch from the parkland surrounds of the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic to the ultra-linksy test that awaited on the Angus coast. 

Walking with the Italian's group in the second round last Friday, it was clear he had his ball on a piece of string. The one-over-par 72 he carded that damp and drizzly morning was the worst he could have scored.

There were two uncharacteristic errors - an awful drive into the gorse on the 15th, where he went on to make a brilliant bogey, and a pushed approach which led to a plugged bunker shot on the 17th.

The resulting double bogey provided the last shots dropped by the eventual champion. He went all 36 holes over the weekend bogey-free with a mixture of consistent and tenacious golf.

For the final round it was done in the company of Tiger Woods, who contributed greatly to the heady nature of that special Sunday by rising to the top of the leaderboard around the turn. 

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