The Open Championship: Rory McIlroy Sinks Long Eagle at 14

Marcus Newton
July 26, 2018

"There were a lot of big names up there and it was nice to be a part of it". And it's safe to say that advertisers were fairly chuffed as well.

It's Major Sunday at Carnoustie, but high winds have made conditions their most hard all week.

He parred his way home for a 70, any realistic hope of winning the British Open for the second time disappearing when he pushed his wedge into 18 and failed to make the birdie putt. Per Nielsen, NBC's deliveries marked a 32 percent improvement compared to last year's broadcast (4.91 million viewers).

For much of the afternoon it looked as though everything was falling into place for Woods to pull off a barely believable victory, his first of any description since 2013, the 15th major of his wonderful career and a first since the 2008 US Open. Just past year, Woods was ranked 674th in the world. "Hopefully, they will get as inspired as I was at the time, watching him vie for the Claret Jug".

For the third time this week Spieth struggled on the final four holes, dropping another two shots to add to the three that went by the wayside on the front nine.

When he was at his peak, no one could touch Woods. As for the 32 tournaments in which Woods did not participate, 53 percent, or 17 events, increased their ratings compared to their 2017 deliveries.

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He did the first bit and then holed a 14-footer at the last for his first birdie of the day to squeak into the third round. Still only 24, he already has won three majors and his name is the last one etched on the base of the silver Claret Jug.

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"It's just going to go in the memory bank as a positive", said Schauffele, who was playing only his second British Open.

For four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, who finished tied for second, two shots off Molinari, it is a different Woods to the years of his pomp. Molinari was rock solid and bogey free, and the Italian joined Y.E. Yang as the only players to be paired with Woods in the final round of a major and win. That's just behind favorites Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.

A miss-hit flop shot at the 11th ended cost him a double-bogey that stopped him in his tracks and although he birdied the 14th to stay in the hunt he fell just short, finishing in a tie for sixth on five-under. They tipped back a few and it's late in the day.

That was an understatement.

Rocca was the country's most successful player but the closest he came to the Claret Jug was losing a play-off to John Daly at St Andrews having famously holed a 60-foot birdie putt on the 18th. That he's able to play at all, let alone compete, is a testament to his indomitable will and relentless competitive streak. Tiger was as back as he's ever going to be, and if that means contending at major championships, then certainly people are going to back him at the betting window.

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