Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Abraham Ancer, Francesco Molinari share National lead

Abraham Ancer, Francesco Molinari share National lead

Francesco Molinari, left, of Italy, poses with Tiger Woods and the trophy after he won the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Potomac, Md.

No matter. He finished at 21-under 259, breaking the tournament record by seven shots.

Molinari also is going for his first official PGA Tour victory, though that comes with an asterisk.

He had his work cut out for him Sunday, trailing by six shots going into the final round and making up only two shots on Francesco Molinari at the turn. Kelly led after the first three rounds, but he finished the tournament without making a putt longer than 12 feet.

After a brief rain delay on the par-4 16th hole at Kemper Lakes inIllinois, Ryu's birdie try rolled past and Park finished off her South Korean compatriot with a 10-footer.

Before Molinari ended all the drama, it was shaping up to be an exciting finish to a low-scoring event full of birdies.

Although Molinari planned to fly home to London following his victory at TPC Potomac, he will return to the United States to fulfill his commitment to play the John Deere Classic, which is required under the strength of field requirement, before heading to Scotland for The Open.

Palpable anticipation Woods might wind up in position to claim his first PGA Tour win in five years and third Quicken Loans National title proved fleeting, however, despite a mostly clean showing from tee to green yielding a 2-under 68.

Tiger Woods made a handful of birdies and a couple of messy bogeys in his final start before the third major of the season. "The putting is definitely improved and that's taken pressure off the long game as well because if you know you can make 20, 30 footers, you're not trying too hard to leave it close to the flag".

Woods was six shots behind, the seventh straight tournament he has been at least five shots behind going into the final round.

Ancer was tied for the lead after the opening round at the Memorial, which is the only other time he has been atop the leaderboard after any round on the PGA Tour.

"It feels good. Even my bad putts still had the "go in" look", Woods said.

The real story was Molinari, however, whose best finish this year so far had been a tie for 16th place at the Wells Fargo Championship.

"I was hitting the ball well", said the 27-year-old.

But then, beginning with Hole 4, Woods went on a tear. "I played great. The start of the back nine was incredible". But I'm starting to hit some putts. "That's something I've been missing for a while, really the past two months, so I'm encouraged".

Booming applause resonated throughout the grounds at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, providing a raucous backdrop for the makings of a vintage moving day charge from Tiger Woods. You can get away with eight bogeys and a double at the Quicken Loans National because it's the Quicken Loans National.

Nine strokes behind Ryu entering the day, the 19-year-old Hataoka - coming off a win at the NW Arkansas Championship - almost pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in LPGA Tour history.

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