Tiger Woods: Francesco Molinari reveals reason for Masters collapse ahead of fresh battle

Tiger Woods: Francesco Molinari reveals reason for Masters collapse ahead of fresh battle

Molinari, the Open champion, had a lead going into the back nine at Augusta before double bogeys at hole 12 and 15 handed the title to Tiger Woods.

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Molinari, the Open champion, had a lead going into the back nine at Augusta before double bogeys at hole 12 and 15 handed the title to Tiger Woods.

The 36-year-old Italian claimed it took a “big effort” because he was unwell for all of the Masters.

“It took some time to recover physically because I wasn’t 100 percent all week in Augusta and I was taking antibiotics,” Molinari said.

“It was just a sore throat and a bug that I got from the kids at the beginning of the week.

“I think it was a big effort to do what I did, and probably on Sunday, when the adrenaline kind of went down, I felt how much I was spending energy-wise during those days.

“It was nothing major, and I was feeling well enough, obviously, to play well in Augusta.

“But I think sometimes in those circumstances, you ask a lot to your body, and then at some point you’re going to pay a price for it.”

Molinari will now be competing against Woods at the second major of the year, which is taking place at the notoriously difficult Bethpage Black course.

The course, which is situated on Long Island in the state of New York, has had days of heavy rain and low temperatures, but the weather is expected to improve when the tournament gets underway today.

Woods ended his 11-year major drought with victory over Molinari at the Masters and is now the sentimental favourite to win in New York.

The 43-year-old won his first US PGA title 20 years ago but victory this week would see the American propelled back to the top of the rankings – a feat he last achieved back in March 2013.

Woods is currently sixth overall in the PGA Tour world rankings and Woods admitted he is relishing the opportunity of winning a record-equalling fifth US PGA title.

“To tie Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus with five wins would be a special accomplishment,” he said.

The Bethpage Black course is the host of the 101st US PGA.

It is a public course that has a sign next to the first tee that famously reads: “The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend for highly skilled golfers.”

It is a par 70 with just two par fives and measures 7,459 yards.

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