Molinari and Woods renew majors battle for Green Jacket


Golf – Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 13, 2019 – Tiger Woods of the U.S. walks off the 17th green during third round play. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Francesco Molinari surged two shots clear at the top of the Masters leaderboard on Saturday to set up another final round showdown with Tiger Woods for a major title.

It has been an almost flawless Masters for Molinari, who has carded just a single bogey through three rounds. On Sunday, the Italian turned in another error-free effort in the third round, signing for a six-under 66 to top the leaderboard at 13-under.

Molinari, the first Italian to win a major with his victory at last year’s British Open, will start in pole position to claim a Green Jacket to go along with his Claret Jug.

Joining him in the last group will be Woods, who also paired with the Italian in the final round at Carnoustie, after the American electrified Augusta National with a five-under 67 that put him on the brink of ending a 11-year majors drought.

The two major champions will be accompanied by Tony Finau, who matched Woods’s 11-under total with a dazzling eight-under 64 that featured a Masters-record equaling front nine of six-under 30.

With the forecast calling for heavy rain and thunderstorms late on Sunday officials have decided to send golfers off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees rather than traditional pairs in an attempt to get the final round completed and avoid a Monday finish to the year’s first major.

Lurking one shot further back is twice U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, who scrapped his way to three-under 69 to trail Molinari by three.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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