Italian Francesco Molinari has survived a crowded field to win the British Open. He has become the first Italian major champion.
Last week he was runner up in the John Deere Classic in a place called Silvis, Illinois. This week he has taken the supreme golfing prize in a place called Carnoustie, Scotland. Apparently he was tanned and rested on his charter flight from the US to Scotland.
The British Open has apparently decided to rebrand itself, this year calling itself simply "The Open." Sadly causing it to be camouflaged among all of the other Opens, for all but the hardiest golf fans. This space regrets not having discovered the subterfuge before yesterday's Sport Sunday update, and so not calling attention to the final day.
As yesterday started, the entire top of the leader board was filled with Americans. Tiger Woods even made a surge, taking the lead at a major golf open for the first time in nine years, and making American journalists' hearts go pitter pat.
Francesco Molinari, already well known to readers of this space, played a quiet but consistent tournament. Seven golfers were atop the standings as the hours and holes came to an end, and Molinari came out on top, or rather on the bottom. In doing so, he became the first Italian to win "The Open," as Italy's first major champion, and achieved the lowest score at Carnoustie in the nine Opens played there.
The sporty but immaculately dressed Molinari, with eye brows sculpted and looking as if he had just come from the pages of a fashion mag, performed beautifully at the post win press conference. Having come through the proverbial jungles of Scotland, he emerged the glowing and happy victor.
Hopefully 35 year old Molinari and his wife can spend some time at the beach this August.