Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Molinari ends Italian PGA drought with National victory

Molinari ends Italian PGA drought with National victory

Marc Leishman and Tiger Woods will need to go low on Sunday to have any chance of winning the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National, after ending the third round six shots behind co-leaders Francesco Molinari and Abraham Ancer.

At 123rd on the FedExCup points list, Molinari was in danger of not keeping his PGA Tour card, so instead of playing this week's French Open, one of the marquee stops on the European Tour, he opted for the Quicken Loans National. Molinari, a two-time Ryder Cup player with a World Golf Championship among his credentials, overcame a few putts he missed from short range to close with two birdies to join Ancer at 13-under 197.

Australian Mark Leishman made three birdies in his closing four holes to sign for a 70 and finish at seven under, in a tie for 13th. He holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the 10th.

Woods then made four birdies in a row at the fourth through seventh holes, none longer than 12 feet.

Woods wants officials to refrain from watering the course heavily overnight, believing he has a better chance of winning if conditions are dry, firm and hard. "I started on my line with the right pace and a lot of them fell".

"I don't know if the course is going to be set-up like that but you just never know as it's been warm over there, and the grass has probably been growing".

"I told him pasta", Molinari said.

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And yet, with a new putter in the bag this week, Woods felt good about the improvement he made on the greens.

"My introduction to links golf could not have been any better as I played the Scottish Open at Carnoustie and the very next week I played the British at St. Andrews", he said.

So Woods didn't outright say it, but that final comment appears to be a pretty likely jab at the U.S. Golf Association. "I just wanted to make as many birdies coming in as possible".

"So it was frustrating because I thought 10 under would have been a good score for me for me to end up at for the day".

Woods even asked National victor Francesco Molinari of Italy about his secret after shooting 62. He was making a lot of putts I think on the front nine. The Swede started the day seven shots behind compatriot Marcus Kinhult but he birdied two of his last three holes to finish at 7-under 277, just ahead of Scotland's Russell Knox, England's Chris Wood, and Julian Suri of the United States.

Tiger Woods was "frustrated" after failing to convert four consecutive early birdies into a great third round at the Quicken Loans National on Saturday. He missed a 15-foot birdie putt at the fourth but landed his approach at the fifth 2 1/2 feet from the cup and tapped in for birdie.

Woods tapped in for birdie at the par-5 second, then sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 third.

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