Francesco Molinari Shoots Final-Round 64 to Win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick

McIlroy's round could have been even stronger had he not twice three-putted at par-five holes, including at the 12th where his putting cost him a chance of an eagle.

"Incredible", Molinari said. "It's high up there with the best wins I've had".

"I was the first to make it with the flag in", Molinari said with a big smile, alluding to a new rule that allows the flag stick to stay in the cup with putts on the green. "I've seen so many putts on TV like that and to do it yourself it's really awesome".

"It's great", the 24-year-old said of the prospect of playing in the final group with McIlroy on Sunday. He'll surely do better than 70th past year? Molinari's was longer than anything Woods ever made, from a slightly different angle. He also ranked just 39th in the field in strokes gained putting.

"Just what I needed", McIlroy said. "I mean, I go about doing my own stuff and minding my own business".

Rory McIlroy also had only two birdies and he tied for sixth at eight under. "Hopefully I can continue and bring that into tomorrow as well". "So, no, I'm happy with everything". "As a junior golfer I wasn't the best in Italy." Now? "So it's still a bit unreal to think that I've done kind of the same today". And that's when you need to nearly take your foot off the gas and just let it happen.

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Tommy Fleetwood, who shared the 36-hole lead with Bradley, fell into a tie for 11th place (5 under) after carding three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 10th.

The victor of last week's Honda Classic, Keith Mitchell, also finished at eight under after a final-round 66.

Canada's Roger Sloan shot a one-under 71 and finished the week at four under and tied for 23rd.

"Finally, in 2015, I played here and I realised what I was missing; I got to spend some time with Arnold which was a dream come true for me".

Here are the rest of our grades for the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Palmer no doubt would have been impressed by Molinari's Sunday 64, and he would have been proud of the way Bay Hill played all week.

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"There's water around here, the greens are firm, the rough's thick", Fitzpatrick said.

"I didn't have my best stuff and I sort of grinded away and had a putt on the last, what looked like to be in a play-off, but that was the start of Francesco sort of lighting it up". But he made too many course management errors from there, failing to birdie either the par-five fourth or sixth with irons in his hand. Then things went really bad. He played bogey-free on the final day at Carnoustie for his first major.

The BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. Dustin Johnson, who returned to No. 1 this week, is not playing. "It's probably more of a test off the tee than the last few weeks". "Those are two of the guys that you want to play with". Might have defended Arnold Palmer Invitational title he'd holed out better.

For Sam Saunders, it's a great week to be Arnie's grandson but a tough week to try to win a golf tournament.

Fifteen players were within five shots of the lead. He had never made the cut here, but this year received a pep talk from his wife. Three players share the 18-hole record at Bay Hill of 62 - Adam Scott (2014), Greg Norman (1984) and Andy Bean (1981). He says he hopes to be ready for The Players Championship next week. If the scale of that achievement can not be surpassed in a standard PGA Tour event, Molinari at least overturned an even bigger deficit at Bay Hill on Sunday. Sounds like he's playing.

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