It was a dramatic afternoon where the result hung in the balance on every shot.
Woods said he had enjoyed himself on the course with his round only slightly blighted by one spectator yelling out as he addressed his drive at the 18th."Oh, it was a blast", said Woods, who was also delighted to have had his children see him perform well after years of watching him struggle. The last time Woods was atop the leaderboard after a round in the majors was in the 2012 PGA Championship.
Meanwhile Woods, who was playing with Molinari, was in the outright lead at one point on Sunday but ended with a 71 to finish in a tie for sixth with England's Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Chappell of the United States.
The numbers are in, and the numbers don't lie: The Tiger Woods Effect is very, very real.
It felt like the Woods of old when he took the lead and the other contenders started an inexplicable slide.
Spieth had his own issues, of course, kicking away a share of the lead on his way to a fat 76 in the final round.
Woods is expecting to hear from Williams, who lost the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber earlier this month, where they will discuss how their respective comebacks are going. Xander Schauffele topped a shot out of the rough, blew the next one over the seventh green and made double bogey. He has no equal with more with 14 majors and 10 seasons with at least five PGA Tour victories. The 24-year-old found the fairway from the tee but skewed his long iron approach well right and was left with a tough pitch. Another bogey on the next hole, and he was basically out of the tournament.
Even though Woods faded after briefly grabbing the solo lead - and Francesco Molinari surged to his first Major victory - the fact that Woods was even in contention was a major win for NBC and for fans across the globe.
His lead was just one when he reached the 18 tee, which has a well-known history of breaking hearts at the Open.
But along the way, Woods gave us another vintage moment when he fired a shot into the gallery at the 11th hole ... and the ball somehow spanged rapidly back toward the hole.
After signing his card, Molinari was filmed in a room near the scorer's area. To take his mind off things, he ventured out to the practice putting green. He was the only player from the final two groups to break par, and he didn't make a bogey over the last 37 holes.
"I know it's going to sting for a little bit here", Woods said of his two-hole collapse, but he remained philosophical.
Taking to Twitter following the day's play, Hauck uploaded the footage, which quickly went viral online - the clip has been watched over 58,000 times on social media. I don't know how she does it.
"For someone like me coming from Italy, not really a major golfing country, it's been an incredible journey". I don't really care too much about it. "He's been playing unbelievable golf".
"To be completely honest, one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years because I got beaten up around here a few times already in the past", he said.