Francesco Molinari wins the British Open

Francesco Molinari wins the British Open”

They all dropped shots on a day when there was no time to be going backward.

But he could get the battle with Tiger Woods he has always pictured in his head with the 14-time major victor lurking ominously among the chasing pack after a thrilling day of low scoring at a defenceless Carnoustie.

He was six shots behind when he finished and figured the margin would be a little wider, which it was.

The three-time champion got a massive break on the 18th, pulling his drive left and missing the water hazard by a couple of yards.

By contrast, Molinari gained his first shot of the day at the par-five 14th and, just as crucially, holed clutch par putts on the 15th and 16th. Schauffele has two holes remaining.

Woods' clubhouse lead lasted only a few minutes before Italian Francesco Molinari, the hottest player in the game recently, carded 65 for six-under. Woods shot 71 and finished 5 under to tie for sixth.

Francesco Molinari has taken the outright lead at the British Open for the first time, and Tiger Woods is still not out of it.

His approach was clinical and he rolled in a six-foot birdie putt that was greeted by a cheer that rang round the parched expanses.

"Some of Sean's philosophical stuff has really hit home with me", he explained.

Woods sent his second shot into the gallery, with the ball rebounding out into the rough.

Woods made three birdies in a row from the ninth onwards. They share the lead in the British Open.

Woods has not played in the Open since 2015 due to injury and is without a victory since 2013, while the last of his 14 major titles to date came a decade ago in the US Open.

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 18th during the final round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links.

In the midst of such great theater, Molinari made his biggest move by not going anywhere at all.

Large crowds are following the 42-year-old Woods, who has yet to win in his latest comeback.

Justin Rose made his only birdie of the day when he needed it the most, sinking an 18-footer on the final hole to make the cut Friday in the British Open.

Rory McIlroy (-4) has started his quest for a second Open, while Johnson and Kisner will shortly begin their rounds.

In fact, there are dropped shots everywhere in the final round at Carnoustie, where the wind is playing havoc.

And the last two winners came from well back, Paul Lawrie starting the final round 10 shots behind in 1999 and Padraig Harrington being six off the lead in 2007, with both men eventually winning in a play-off.

Schauffele's slice off the 17th tee scuppered his chances, while Spieth - five over for the day - could not summon his first gain of a punishing round.

Jordan Spieth admits his barber cut a little too close for his short back and sides on Saturday morning (Richard Sellers/PA). "Today wasn't quite as good, but I finally birdied the par 5". "I played within myself". You get the right side of the draw, and you're playing some good weather, and you might be able to make some shots back and make it happen. But 69 was the low score among the first 22 players out in Sunday's final round as the breeze was blowing 15-20 miles per hour.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth was tied for the lead with Schauffele and Kisner overnight but slipped away with a closing 76 to end four under. It's wonderful to stand here with the Claret Jug.

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