7/23/18

Frank the Tank

Francesco Molinari wins the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie.

by

Molinari is on an unbelievable hot streak right now. In his last six events, he has 3 wins, two runner-ups, and a 25th at the U.S. Open. He has moved from 33rd to 6th in the official world golf ranking, the highest position of his career. The summer of ‘18 will always belong to Francesco, just like the spring of ‘17 belonged to Dustin Johnson, the fall of ‘15 belonged to Jason Day, the fall of ‘14 belonged to Rory and 2000-2010 belonged to Tiger Woods.

Takeaways from the day

I have no idea what happened to Jordan Spieth on Sunday. He came out looking much more wary than he did on Saturday and coughed up the lead on the 6th hole. This was the second straight year that he melted on Sunday at the Open, but last year, he was able to correct the ship with an unbelievable comeback. Golden boy has had a very down year this season, but this Sunday struggle was definitely unexpected.

I really thought Tiger had it. Most of the front nine was denial because I didn’t think all of the leaders would fall apart, but I finally let myself believe he could win on 10. His fairway bunker shot was one of the more impressive shots of the tournament and showed us he truly still does have the ability to win. His T-6 was exactly enough to move him up to 50th in the world rankings, the exact number he needed to get into the final WGC Bridgestone Championship at Firestone next month.

Justin Rose is just an absolute lock for strong performances at majors and has been for some time. He is in the midst of a hot streak of his own, winning 4 times in his last 23 events and has finished in the top 10 in 18 of those events. That is extraordinary consistency, and there is seemingly no end in sight.

Rory might have had the quietest runner-up finish in a major of all time. He started the day four back of the leaders but made a run during the early back nine on Sunday. Rory has finished inside the top 5 at each of the last four Open Championships that he has played in, including his 2014 victory.

Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele continue to impress at majors. Finau has finished in the top 10 of every major this season and Schauffele has finished in the top 6 of three of the six majors he has played in. Schauffele had an opportunity to win it coming down the stretch but wasn’t able to cap off his first major victory. Both are making charges to secure a spot on the Ryder Cup team this fall. Personally, I think X needs to be on the team, but I need to see a little more fire out of Finau.

Loved to see Eddie Pepperell make a run on Sunday. After his stellar final round that thrust him into contention, Pepperell made remarks about his hangover, “I was a little hungover. I won’t lie. I had too much to drink last night.” Pepperell is a phenomenal character, and I would love to see him make more appearances state side.

Talking it out

SB Nation’s Brendan Porath and the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin join the podcast to recap the thrilling Open Championship. We discuss Molinari’s win, Tiger’s surge, Rory, Rickie and much more. Listen to the podcast on iTunesStitcher or the website.

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More to come on the Open

Look for a Things I like/don’t like on the Open Championship on the site tomorrow.

Quick Hooks

The Barbasol Championship is headed to a Monday finish in Kentucky. Leaderboard

David Skinns is your winner on the Web.com Tour this week. Leaderboard

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