From Molinari's retirement plan and airline booking to Pepperell's prep and Rickie's tache, here are some of the best (and more unusual) talking points from before and during the final round of The Open.
Molinari’s final call
Winning brings fame and fortune, but it can’t get you a refund from easyJet. While Francesco Molinari was busy smartening up for the champions dinner, his name was being read out on the tannoy at Edinburgh airport. He was supposed to catch a flight back home at 9pm, and according to EasyJet's terms and conditions winning The Open doesn’t entitle you to any money back. On the plus side, he is $1.89 million richer which should cover the cost of any extra baggage allowance. We doubt the Claret Jug qualifies as hand luggage.
"I had an easyJet flight at 9:00 to get back home, so I think that's gone," he said after his win. "I have a holiday plan for next week somewhere nice with the family. So hopefully, we can still make the holiday and just relax for a few days."
Pepperell’s (less than) perfect preperation
Practice rounds are overrated. Just ask Eddie Pepperell. He didn’t bother with one before the championship started and was in two minds whether to play on Thursday due to a nagging wrist injury. He even went back home after finishing second at the Scottish Open, only to change his mind and rock up at Carnoustie late on Wednesday night. It proved a good decision as he shot the round of the day (67) on Sunday to finish in a tie for sixth. The fact he did so a little worse for wear gives hope to us all.
“I was a little hungover, I won't lie," he admitted. “I had too much to drink last night. I was so frustrated yesterday that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking. But as it happens, I shot 67. So, you know, it's a funny game.”
Rickie’s questionable facial hair
While Spieth was losing hair on Saturday, the trimmings on the barber’s floor seemed to make their way onto Rickie Fowler’s face on Sunday morning. The American sported the dodgy ‘tache’ with his trademark orange attire, which made him look like a mini-me Hulk Hogan.
The assistant PGA pro who played in The Open
Working the weekend usually means playing golf is off the agenda. But PGA assistant pro Kier McNicoll still managed to squeeze in 18 holes at Carnoustie on Saturday and Sunday. With just 69 players making the cut, the R&A needed someone to make up the numbers and mark the cards of Gavin Green and Beau Hossler respectively. Step forward, Kier McNicoll.
“Someone’s got to do it,” he joked. But no sooner had he finished his third and fourth round he was back in the Carnoustie pro shop serving the likes of Justin Rose and looking after Matt Kuchar’s kids. Whether he’ll get paid overtime for doing the morning shift as well, we’re not so sure.
Langer outgunned Reed, Fowler and Stenson
He'll qualify for a bus pass soon, but it seems Bernhard Langer is getting better – and more powerful – with age. Not only did he warm up for the Seniors Open next week by finishing the championship one-under-par, he also hit the joint most greens (five) in under regulation all week (one shot on par 4s; two shots on par 5s). We'll have what he's having for breakfast, please.
The sneakiest spectator at Carnoustie
If you wondered why so many people were wearing yellow bands this week, it’s because doing so gives you access inside the ropes. The R&A dishes them out to select journalists during Open week, so getting hold of one isn’t easy. In fact, it’s impossible for spectators.
Or so we thought. One fan managed to fool everyone (including us) by ingeniously wrapping a yellow pin flag around his arm so he could follow Tiger and Molinari. It worked for the first three holes before he was eventually rumbled and kicked out.
Molinari’s retirement plan
The Italian is only 35, but he’s already contemplating retirement if the following tweet is to be believed.
Sam’s back to work on Tuesday
Sam Locke was guaranteed the Silver Medal on Friday night, so you’d think, like most teenagers, he’d have a big celebration or party planned for next week. The only problem, he says, is that he’s got to work in the coffee shop at the Paul Lawrie Golf Academy on Tuesday. Some bosses just don’t know what it’s like to win something at The Open, do they?
Spieth and Finau mixing with the locals
Businesses in Carnoustie made a killing this week, but it wasn’t just the fans adding to their turnover. You’ve probably already heard about Jordan Spieth paying £20 for a short back and sides, but Tony Finau made everyone feel less guilty about their Saturday takeaway by collecting a packed goodie bag from a local Chinese restaurant.
However, Tommy Fleetwood got the best deal out of everyone when he asked his caddie Ian Finnis to fetch an Open umbrella from the merchandise tent. The R&A found out and waived the £40 price tag. Alright for some!
The final word goes to… The Barbasol Championship
It’s probably escaped your attention – and we don’t blame you – but there was another PGA Tour event going on stateside. The Barbasol Championship has been the alternate event to The Open since 2015 and rewards the winner with $630,000 and a spot in the US PGA Championship.
That makes it kind of a big deal, especially as an LPGA Tour star was part of the field for the first-time ever. Brittany Lincicome admitted she was left “speechless” when her sponsor’s invitation arrived in the post, making her just the sixth female to compete in a PGA Tour event.
An opening round 78 left her propping up the leaderboard, but she fought back late on Saturday with five birdies and one eagle to card a one-under-par, 71. It wasn’t enough to make the cut – she missed out by nine strokes – but she did have the consolation of bettering the scores of three men, including Steven Bowditch.