francesco-molinari-147th-open-championship-winner-Carnoustie

Francesco Molinari is the first Italian to win a major, after claiming The 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie during a week that attracted a record-breaking crowd.

Following a two-under-par final round 69 on the Scottish links and an 8-under-par total, 35-year-old Molinari finished two ahead of four players, including Justin Rose Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schafuffele to lift the famous Claret Jug. Tiger Woods, who led midway through the round, finished on five-under, with defending champion, Jordan Spieth, on four-under.

"It is absolutely amazing," Molinari said. "I think it will take a long time to sink in. It has been a great week.

"The course bit me a few times in the first two days, but to go bogey-free around this track at the weekend is incredible."

A record-breaking crowd of 172,000 attended The 147th Open at Carnoustie, surpassing the 157,000 total set at Carnoustie in 1999. A key aim of The R&A, which organises The Open, is to attract a younger audience to the Championship and more than 20,000 spectators under the age of 25 attended the event at the renowned Scottish venue. Under-16’s gain free admission under The R&A’s longstanding Kids go Free initiative.

More than 4000 spectators took advantage of free accommodation for young people and a low-cost rate for adults at The Open Camping Village, with Friday and Saturday night full to capacity.

The 148th Open will take place at Royal Portrush from 14-21 July 2019 when golf’s original championship returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since it was played on the only occasion there in 1951. It is set to be the largest ever sporting event staged on the island of Ireland.

The R&A has launched ticket sales earlier than ever before to meet the expected demand as the Championship moves to an all-ticket model for the first time in its history, with sell-out crowds anticipated at Royal Portrush. More than 30% of all tickets and hospitality places have already been sold.

Fans can join The One Club for free by visiting TheOpen.com/TheOneClub in order to gain exclusive access to priority tickets and secure their place for the historic return of The Open to Royal Portrush.

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