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Molinari wins Arnold Palmer Invitational with final hole dramatics

Molinari wins Arnold Palmer Invitational with final hole dramatics”

"Probably my best putting round ever, " Molinari said of his third win in his past 12 PGA Tour starts.

McIlroy, in yet another in a series of disappointing final rounds in which he's come up short while in contention, shot even par Sunday and finished at 8-under, along with Mitchell, last week's Honda Classic victor, Wallace and Kang. I get into the events that I'd like to be into again, the schedules change, I'm no longer having to pick and choose.

"I don't know, I'm just super glad", Molinari said after his round, via Golf Digest.

"I said this after I won the Open Championship past year, I didn't enjoy it - that half an hour - at all and I didn't enjoy today at all watching the other guys", he said. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no one got closer than two shots the rest of the way.

Molinari, Europe's hero in last year's Ryder Cup victory over the United States in France, sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, made another birdie from 44 feet at the par-4 eighth, dropped yet another from 18 feet at the 13th and two-putted from 20 feet to birdie the par-5 16th. 'I knew there was a chance to set a target and make life hard for those out late, and I'm delighted to pull it off.' The final day began with a clear indication that Tiger is ready to return at the Players Championship this week despite his neck injury.

In 2018, the Northern Irishman fired a final-round 8-under-par 64 and rallied to a three-stroke victory over Bryson DeChambeau.

"I'm getting myself into contention every week, continue to do that, going into next week", he said.

"I know the clubs are good for me and I started this week - it's insane to do it here, to get it done here, at Arnie's place, knowing that my wife and my kids were watching it back home, it's just a special, special one".

McIlroy, one behind going into the final round, had curled in a 15 foot birdie putt at the third to share the lead, but a five-foot birdie chance missed at the next and he dropped a shot at the par three seventh after missing the green. He had two birdies, two bogeys and a 72 to tie for sixth.

The next step is a drive up I-95 to Ponte Vedra Beach to take his place at THE PLAYERS Championship. "The smart thing to do was to take a long break". "I think sort of protecting my position a little bit".

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of the PGA Tour's most prestigious tournaments - offering a US$9.1 million (AU$12.9m) purse and a three-year exemption on Tour for the victor.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello (69) ended the tournament in a three-way tie for third place, alongside Tommy Fleetwood (68) and Im Sung-jae (68) at nine under.

Molinari soon would kick up his feet in the clubhouse and watch nervously as no one out of the course could keep up.

"I need to say thank you to the Callaway team because they fit it into the, fitted me into the new clubs very smoothly and it's been a very easy transition". Ian Poulter closed with a 70 for a top-30 spot but there was a rare failure these days for world No 2 Justin Rose, who shot 77 and 75 in the final two rounds to finish well back. He played the four par 5s in 1 under.

Other than reigning U.S. Open and PGA Championship victor Brooks Koepka, no golfer on the planet has been hotter than Molinari since last summer.

Francesco Molinari is continuing to play the best golf of his career at age 36.



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