The Masters 2019: Francesco Molinari not looking back on last year’s victorious duel with Tiger Woods

Phil Casey
The Independent

Francesco Molinari will try to put memories of beating Tiger Woods to last year's Open Championship out of his mind as he looks to repeat the feat in the 83rd Masters.

Woods led at Carnoustie with eight holes to play before finishing sixth behind playing partner Molinari, who held his nerve to card a bogey-free 69 to become the first Italian player to win a major title.

The 36-year-old Ryder Cup star takes a two-shot lead over Woods and Tony Finau into Sunday's final round at Augusta, with the tee times brought forward in an effort to avoid thunderstorms forecast to hit the course in late afternoon.

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"I think, to be honest, every tournament is different and every time is a different story," Molinari said after a superb third round of 66. "He (Woods) obviously loves this place and he's playing great golf.

"So I'm aware that it's not going to be easy and I can just do my best. But it's not like I can only worry about him. There's a lot of guys I think in with a chance.

"We've seen in the past years that a few shots' lead really doesn't mean too much and we've seen today that you can shoot seven, eight under the way the course is playing. I think there's a lot more guys with a chance.

"Coming from Italy, it's exciting just to walk down Magnolia Lane. I don't have to be in the last group on Sunday to be excited. It's a special week. It's always been a special week for me, even in the last few years where I didn't play so well.

"I'll just try to enjoy tomorrow as much as possible, and again, do my best, shot by shot, don't get ahead of myself and see what happens."

Tee times

All times BST

From first tee:

12:30: Aaron Wise, Marc Leishman (Aus), Kim Si-woo (Kor)

12:41: Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Kevin Tway, Patton Kizzire

12:52: Henrik Stenson (Swe), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Cameron Smith (Aus)

13:03: Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Corey Conners (Can)

13:14: Jason Day (Aus), Bubba Watson, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den)

13:25: Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm (Spa)

13:36: Adam Scott (Aus), Patrick Cantlay, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)

13:47: Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler

13:58: Matt Kuchar, Justin Harding (SA), Xander Schauffele

14:09: Brooks Koepka (USA), Webb Simpson (USA), Ian Poulter (ENG)

14:20: Francesco Molinari (Ita), Tony Finau, Tiger Woods

From 10th tee:

12:30: Kyle Stanley, (a) Viktor Hovland (Nor), Charley Hoffman

12:41: Kevin Kisner, Bryson DeChambeau, (a) Takumi Kanaya (Jpn)

12:52: Rory McIlroy (NI), Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland

13:03: Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell

13:14: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Kevin Na, (a) Alvaro Ortiz (Mex)

13:25: Patrick Reed, (a) Devon Bling, Keith Mitchell

13:36: Tyrrell Hatton, Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Andrew Landry

13:47: Bernhard Langer (Ger), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Eddie Pepperell (Eng)

13:58: Branden Grace (SA), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Li Haotong (Chn)

14:09: Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel

14:20: Trevor Immelman (SA), Alex Noren (Swe)


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