CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND – JULY 22: Francesco Molinari of Italy plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
Francesco Molinari came into The Open touted as a possible favorite outside some of the big names in golf. Then after the third round, he said of the upcoming fourth round, “It’s not a day to be aggressive. It’s more a day to make as many pars as possible.”
Molinari fulfilled both of those predictions by making 16 pars along with two birdies to shoot a flawless final-round 69 and win the Open by two shots over four players, including Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, in the process becoming the first Italian to win a major championship. Incredibly, Molinari played the last 37 holes at Carnoustie bogey-free after a double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole on Friday.
Molinari hit two-thirds of his greens in regulation and for the week and cashed in when he needed to with his custom Bettinardi DASS BBZero with a skull and crossbones stamp in the rear cavity in an Italian flag-themed paintfill. Molinari first put the putter in play at the Players Championship and later in May won the BMW PGA Championship and Quicken Loans National with it. Molinari’s putter is only 32.25 inches in length with a loft of 2.5 degrees and a like angle of 70. The grip is Lamkin’s Deep Etch.
Molinari also uses a split set of irons, putting in a TaylorMade P790 UDI 2-iron for the week (taking out his 5-wood); TaylorMade’s P790 for his 4-iron and the rest of his irons the company’s P750 model with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold X100 steel shafts.
His wedges are TaylorMade’s Milled Grind and Molinari used his 56-degree Milled grind to hit his shot into the 72nd hole from 113 yards in tight for a final birdie and a fitting exclamation to his first major.
British Open 2018: What Francesco Molinari had in the bag at Carnoustie
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (Mitsubishi Tensei CK 60 TX), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M3, 13 degrees
Irons (2): TaylorMade P790 UDI; (4): TaylorMade P790; (5-PW): TaylorMade P750
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (50, 56 degrees); TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Putter: Bettinardi DASS BBZero