Arnold Palmer Invitational - R4

Molinari wins 3rd title in 12 starts

March 07-10
Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Bay Hill, Florida
$9,100,000

Round 1, Round 2, Round 3



Italy’s Francesco Molinari unleashed the greatest putting performance of his career on Sunday, firing a final-round eight-under par 64 to win the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational by two strokes.

The 36-year-old from Turin, who took an extended rest after a career-best 2018 campaign, sank every putt from inside 15 feet to charge from five shots back and finish on 12-under par 276 with a bogey-free final round at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.

“Incredible,” Molinari said. “It’s high up there with the best wins I’ve had.”

An 18th-hole birdie from 43 feet closed out what reigning British Open champion Molinari called “probably my best putting round ever,” a claim supported by his 164.5 feet of putts made Sunday, the most by him in any US PGA round.

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 could have done a lot more than that to be honest,” Molinari said. “It was really amazing to see.”

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, the 54-hole leader by a stroke over Rory McIlroy, fired a 71 to settle for second on 278 with South Korea’s Im Sung-jae, England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello sharing third on 279.

Im took one of three available spots for the British Open to those not yet qualified with the others going to South Korean Kang Sung and American Keith Mitchell, who shared sixth on 280 with Northern Ireland’s McIlroy and England’s Matt Wallace.

For McIlroy, it marked the seventh time in the last 12 months that he played in the final group on the last day without a victory to show for it.

Molinari finished 90 minutes ahead of the final group, then watched the last 10 pairings reach the clubhouse trying in vain to match his magical run to a third win in his past 12 US PGA starts — this event named for one of Molinari’s sporting idols.

“I’m just super glad,” Molinari said. “It’s great to get it done here at Arnie’s place, knowing my wife and kids are watching back home.

“It’s a special, special one. Arnie was a special player but also a special person and a global icon. He and Jack (Nicklaus) were up there with the gods.”

Molinari said he didn’t approach the final round with any special ideas of clawing his way back, instead seeking opportunities as they came along.

“No game plan really, just trying to hit good shots and give myself chances,” Molinari said. “I saw the course got firm and fast.”Molinari confident –

Molinari began the most impressive victory run of his career last May at Wentworth with the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship, followed up July 1 with an eight-stroke victory at the National for his first US PGA title, then struck three weeks later for his first major title at Carnoustie.


At the Ryder Cup, Molinari became the first player to go 5-0 in matches, pairing with Tommy Fleetwood to claim foursomes and four-ball triumphs and then beating Phil Mickelson in singles.

“Confidence has to do a lot with it,” Molinari said. “I started building my confidence and seeing I could get it done. I went through the summer, a run of golf I couldn’t even believe for me.”

Now, after a significant rest, Molinari has one more trophy to add to his collection with the Masters only a month away.

“Finding motivation was easy after last year,” Molinari said. “I took a longer break after last year. I’ve never been a fast starter on the PGA Tour. So this is nice to see.”


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-12
69
70
73
64
276
2
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-10
70
70
67
71
278
T3
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-9
71
69
71
68
279
T3
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-9
69
66
76
68
279
T3
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-9
65
75
70
69
279
T6
Keith Mitchell
USA
-8
71
68
75
66
280
T6
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
-8
69
72
71
68
280
T6
Matt Wallace
ENG
-8
71
69
69
71
280
T6
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-8
72
70
66
72
280
T10
Adam Long
USA
-7
74
71
69
67
281
T10
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-7
72
72
69
68
281
T10
Lucas Glover
USA
-7
70
71
71
69
281
T10
Jason Kokrak
USA
-7
70
73
68
70
281
T10
Luke List
USA
-7
70
72
68
71
281
T15
Charles Howell III
USA
-6
74
67
69
72
282
T15
Chris Kirk
USA
-6
71
73
66
72
282
T17
Ryan Blaum
USA
-5
73
72
70
68
283
T17
Brendan Steele
USA
-5
70
71
72
70
283
T17
Chesson Hadley
USA
-5
71
71
71
70
283
T17
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-5
77
66
69
71
283
T17
Bubba Watson
USA
-5
68
72
71
72
283
T17
Aaron Baddeley
AUS
-5
70
70
69
74
283
T23
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
-4
69
70
75
70
284
T23
Ian Poulter
ENG
-4
73
68
73
70
284
T23
Marc Leishman
AUS
-4
72
70
72
70
284
T23
Roger Sloan
CAN
-4
70
69
74
71
284
T23
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-4
71
70
72
71
284
T23
Kevin Kisner
USA
-4
70
69
70
75
284
T29
Hudson Swafford
USA
-3
70
74
73
68
285
T29
Adam Schenk
USA
-3
70
73
71
71
285
T29
Carlos Ortiz
MEX
-3
72
71
70
72
285
T29
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-3
70
75
66
74
285
T33
Sam Horsfield
ENG
-2
74
69
74
69
286
T33
Sam Ryder
USA
-2
74
69
74
69
286
T33
Ryan Moore
USA
-2
71
72
73
70
286
T33
Johnson Wagner
USA
-2
71
72
72
71
286
T33
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-2
72
70
71
73
286
T33
Adam Hadwin
CAN
-2
70
75
68
73
286
T33
Martin Kaymer
GER
-2
72
69
70
75
286
T40
Hunter Mahan
USA
-1
76
69
74
68
287
T40
Zach Johnson
USA
-1
70
71
76
70
287
T40
Viktor Hovland
NOR
-1
74
70
73
70
287
T40
Aaron Wise
USA
-1
72
70
74
71
287
T40
Scott Stallings
USA
-1
69
74
73
71
287
T40
Rickie Fowler
USA
-1
74
71
71
71
287
T46
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
Par
75
70
74
69
288
T46
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
Par
71
71
76
70
288
T46
Patrick Rodgers
USA
Par
68
73
73
74
288
T46
Keegan Bradley
USA
Par
67
68
75
78
288
T50
Brandt Snedeker
USA
1
73
71
74
71
289
T50
Patrick Reed
USA
1
70
70
76
73
289
T50
Pat Perez
USA
1
69
73
72
75
289
T50
Billy Horschel
USA
1
68
71
73
77
289
T54
Sam Burns
USA
2
76
69
73
72
290
T54
Scott Piercy
USA
2
74
70
70
76
290
T54
Graeme McDowell
NIR
2
68
75
69
78
290
57
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
3
72
68
79
72
291
T58
Jimmy Walker
USA
4
70
71
81
70
292
T58
Steve Stricker
USA
4
75
69
76
72
292
T58
D. A. Points
USA
4
72
71
74
75
292
T58
Beau Hossler
USA
4
76
66
73
77
292
T58
Kevin Streelman
USA
4
70
72
71
79
292
T63
Justin Rose
ENG
5
71
70
77
75
293
T63
J. J. Spaun
USA
5
71
70
75
77
293
T63
Sam Saunders
USA
5
73
68
74
78
293
T66
Martin Trainer
USA
6
70
71
79
74
294
T66
J. T. Poston
USA
6
71
72
73
78
294
68
Harris English
USA
7
76
69
72
78
295
T69
Anirban Lahiri
IND
8
74
69
80
73
296
T69
Tim Herron
USA
8
72
70
76
78
296
CUT
Austin Cook
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Brice Garnett
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Bronson Burgoon
USA
2
72
74
146
CUT
Bud Cauley
USA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Charley Hoffman
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
2
73
73
146
CUT
Ernie Els
RSA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Kevin Na
USA
2
73
73
146
CUT
Kyle Stanley
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Michael Thompson
USA
2
76
70
146
CUT
Phil Mickelson
USA
2
68
78
146
CUT
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
2
73
73
146
CUT
Vaughn Taylor
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Vijay Singh
FIJ
2
73
73
146
CUT
Braden Thornberry
USA
3
76
71
147
CUT
Brian Gay
USA
3
74
73
147
CUT
Brooks Koepka
USA
3
74
73
147
CUT
Danny Lee
NZL
3
70
77
147
CUT
Justin Suh
USA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Michael Kim
KOR
3
73
74
147
CUT
J. B. Holmes
USA
4
78
70
148
CUT
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Martin Laird
SCO
4
77
71
148
CUT
Nate Lashley
USA
4
71
77
148
CUT
Ollie Schniederjans
USA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Ryan Armour
USA
4
75
73
148
CUT
Andrew Landry
USA
5
80
69
149
CUT
Brian Harman
USA
5
75
74
149
CUT
Corey Conners
CAN
5
71
78
149
CUT
Daniel Berger
USA
5
77
72
149
CUT
Robert Streb
USA
5
74
75
149
CUT
Shane Lowry
IRL
5
70
79
149
CUT
Danny Willett
ENG
6
78
72
150
CUT
Jason Dufner
USA
6
76
74
150
CUT
Joel Dahmen
USA
6
74
76
150
CUT
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
6
78
72
150
CUT
Abraham Ancer
USA
7
77
74
151
CUT
Cameron Champ
USA
7
81
70
151
CUT
Dominic Bozzelli
USA
7
72
79
151
CUT
Haotong Li
CHN
7
77
74
151
CUT
Harold Varner III
USA
7
79
72
151
CUT
Richy Werenski
USA
7
77
74
151
CUT
Stewart Cink
USA
7
72
79
151
CUT
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
7
81
70
151
CUT
Anders Albertson
USA
8
77
75
152
CUT
Scott Brown
USA
10
78
76
154
CUT
Scott Langley
USA
10
74
80
154
CUT
Rod Perry
USA
11
75
80
155
CUT
Bill Haas
USA
12
77
79
156
CUT
Matthew Every
USA
12
83
73
156
CUT
Chris Stroud
USA
13
79
78
157
CUT
Robert Gamez
USA
20
82
82
164
RET
Jason Day
AUS
Par
0
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