Bogey-free Molinari triumphs at Arnold Palmer Invitational
Sports Scene

In a spectacular final round on a sunny Sunday at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida, Francesco Molinari sank a 45-foot birdie putt to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The birdie putt gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276 as the British Open champion capped off an 8-under 64 to come from five shots behind in order to make a bogey-free title triumph.

This was the Italian's fourth title in the last nine months.

The 36-year-old golfer from Turin edged out Matt Fitzpatrick, who shot a 1-under 71 to finish alone in second.

Former world No.1 Rory McIlroy had two birdies, two bogeys and a 72 as he dropped to a tied sixth. Meanwhile, South Korea's Sung Kang secured the third and final spot offered for the British Open at Royal Portrush this summer. 

Francesco Molinari produces a stunning, bogey-free eight-under 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. /VCG Photo

Francesco Molinari produces a stunning, bogey-free eight-under 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. /VCG Photo

His compatriot Sungjae Im, who closed with a 68 and tied for third; and Keith Mitchell, who made eight birdies in his final round of 66, bagged the remaining two spots.

A jubilant Molinari remarked after his win, "Incredible. It's high up there with the best wins I've had. Arnold (Palmer) was a special player but most of all a special person and really global like for the game. So for someone like me, coming from Italy, obviously, he and Jack (Nicklaus) were up there as gods, so."

Molinari also added that he is looking forward to the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, starting later this week.

"Yeah, I love Sawgrass. Obviously, The Players is, with the new schedule, is the first big appointment on the calendar and I can't wait to get there. I've had kind of a mixed back there, some very good weeks and some missed cuts. Just curious to see how it's going to play with the different date. But obviously, the game is in decent shape, so looking forward to next week."