Molinari wins Open, NZ clinch Rugby 7s double: The sporting weekend’s talking points

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Another weekend in sport has come and gone.

Golf’s third major of the year, the Open Championship, concluded in Scotland.

There was also the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, while the Tour de France has reached its second rest day.

Here are the big talking points β€” and things you might have missed.

Molinari wins Open despite focus on Woods

The Claret Jug has a new name on it: Francesco Molinari.

Molinari became the first Italian to win one of golf’s Major championships with a bogey-free tournament at Carnoustie.

The 35-year-old began the final round at six-under, three shots behind the overnight leaders Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth.

But the others all suffered and Molinari was the only man of the final four pairings to shoot better than par.

For much of the day, the attention was on the eventual champion’s playing partner Tiger Woods.

The American has struggled with personal problems and a recurring back injury, but found himself leading a Major on the final day for the first time since 2011.

And while Woods didn’t manage to hang on to the lead β€” a double bogey and bogey in the two following holes proved a setback too far β€” his tied-6th finish will have his fans believing that the former world number one is finally back and ready to challenge consistently.

New Zealand reign supreme in San Fran

There’s no stopping New Zealand rugby at the moment.

Both the All Blacks and Black Ferns are the 15-a-side World Cup holders at the moment.

And, over the weekend, their sevens teams ensured that all four World Cup titles in the union and sevens disciplines would stay in the ‘land of the long white cloud’.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens was held at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and the American crowd were treated to sublime rugby from the Kiwis.

The All Blacks Sevens won a record third crown, while the Black Ferns Sevens became the first women’s team to retain the World Cup.

Team Sky domination at the Tour de France

With just six stages to go, the Tour de France is heating up.

Or is it?

Team Sky currently occupy the first two positions in the overall standings through Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.

With three mountain stages and an individual time trial left, there is still room for change at the top.

But with their general classification rivals Rigoberto Uran and Vincenzo Nibali pulling out over the weekend due to injury, the Tour appears to be Sky’s to lose.

Their big question now: who is the team leader?

Is it three-time defending champion Froome, who’s going for a record fifth Tour win?

Or is it Welshman Thomas, who came into the Tour fresh off winning the Criterium du Dauphine and is currently 1:39 ahead of his teammate?

Thomas: “The yellow jersey? The Olympics were the real pressure…”

Rutherford bids goodbye to the London Stadium

Greg Rutherford finished 10th at the London Diamond League meet on Sunday.

Not that the 31-year-old will mind. Injuries have plagued the long jumper for the past few years, and this was a chance for the London 2012 champion to bid farewell to a stadium he has fond memories of.

He has already announced his retirement from athletics at the end of this summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Greg Rutherford of Great Britain competes in the Men's Long Jump during Day Two of the Muller Anniversary Games at London Stadium on July 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Greg Rutherford competes in the long jump at the Anniversary Games. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

However, due to his ongoing injury problems, Rutherford will not defend his European title in Berlin next month.

Instead, the Briton will go out with two events on home soil: a Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, and the Great North City Games in Newcastle.

Other things you might have missed

Tokyo 2020 mascots named:
The official mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were presented to the public on Sunday. Miraitowa and Someity appeared at events in the Japanese capital. Miraitowa will be the Olympic mascot, while Someity will be the face of the Paralympics.

IOC talks esports at forum in Lausanne:
Esports was on the agenda at the Olympic headquarters in Lausanne as the IOC and GAISF held a forum involving the world’s top competitive video gamers, Olympians, and officials. The forum discussed the potential for esports to be recognised by the IOC as a sport and possible collaboration. However, the forum did not consider whether esports could be included on the Olympic programme.

FIS Summer Grand Prix begins:
Ski jumping may be a winter Olympic sport, but that doesn’t mean it can’t take place in summer! The FIS Grand Prix has taken place each summer since 1994. Three-time Olympic champion Kamil Stoch won the year’s first event, with Piotr Zyla rounding out a Polish 1-2 finish on home turf in Wisla.

Unified Korean team wins at ITTF Korea Open:
History was made in Daejeon, South Korea, as a unified Korean team won a table tennis event for the first time since the 1991 World Championships. The South’s Jang Woojin partnered North Korean Cha Hyo Sim to mixed doubles triumph in the World Tour Platinum event. They saw off the Chinese pair of Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha in the final in four games.

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Author: ZK Goh
Olympic Channel news producer/reporter. All-round sports nerd.