Sports

Francesco Molinari surges to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Francesco Molinari surges to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

HOW did that just happen?

Francesco Molinari fired a sensational eight-under 64 to snatch victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The little Italian hasn't been at his best thus far in 2019 but he made up for it in sensational fashion in Orlando.

Yet while Molinari had a day to remember on the greens, behind him the final pairing of Fitzpatrick and McIlroy struggled to consolodate on chances; McIlroy had irons in to all four of the par-fives but made just one birdie. And, in any event, Molinari hadn't bothered to read the script, just as he hadn't when he beat the world's finest players to land the Claret Jug at Carnoustie last July.

"It was a really good day, hugely rewarding", the 33-year-old Harding said.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy carded 72 for equal sixth, four strokes behind Molinari. Check in for highlights from every tournament plus player interviews, player profiles, tournament previews, swing analysis and all the greatest shots and fantastic moments.

British Open champion Francesco Molinari delivered another big moment on the 18th green at Bay Hill, without wearing a red shirt - and leaving the flag stick in the cup.

He birdied the fourth and parred the other eight holes on his way to the turn in the final round, but found himself overtaken by Molinari.

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Kirk Triplett made a 12-foot eagle putt on the second hole of a playoff with Woody Austin to win the Hoag Classic for his seventh PGA Tour Champions victory. The good news is that it gives Fitzpatrick Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour, with unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season.

"It's never easy, but I think what makes the difference is my mental approach is a lot better than what it was three, four years ago and I practice at home to do this sort of stuff in tournaments".

He got on the par-5 16th in two before two putts helped him take the outright lead at 11 under and he sealed his stunning round with that monster birdie putt at the last. Third round leader Matthew Fitzpatrick finished alone in second.

The reason for that is - if a high-owned basketball player flops, he likely still provided you with some production, unless he left the game early or gets scratched. The South African arrived at Doha Golf Club without full playing privileges after finishing third on last season's Asian Tour. But after a 25-foot birdie putt on the third hole to briefly tie for the lead, McIlroy played the next 12 holes with two bogeys and 10 pars. He becomes the fifth South African victor of this event after Darren Fichardt, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Branden Grace.

"I think it's been the best putting round ever in my career". "I mean, I go about doing my own stuff and minding my own business, it's not really bothering me, wherever they put me in the tee times, as long as it ends up like this". 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'm playing well, I'm getting myself into contention every week, (I need to) continue to do that going into next week". After back-to-back 70s in the opening two rounds he posted five birdies and dropped no shots in a 67 on Saturday to move to nine under par. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no-one got closer than two shots the rest of the way.

The firm fairways, rock-hard putting surfaces and final-round pressure would be too much for most of the field to handle, particularly those with the best chance to chase down the 36-year-old Italian who raced around the late Palmer's layout like a Ferrari. Belgian Thomas Detry, England's Andy Sullivan and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti were ten under.


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