Francesco Molinari Fires 64, Runs Away with AP Invitational PDF Print E-mail


Francesco Molinari celebrates after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Orlando, Florida - The big story heading into Sunday's final round of the

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational was the re-emergence of defending

champion Rory McIlroy who was one shot behind 54 hole leader Matthew

Fitzpatrick to start the day. As it turned out, neither was the European to

watch out for.


Italian Francesco Molinari, the 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year overcame

a five-stroke deficit to claim victory at the King's house. He absolutely

caught fire on Arnie's BayHill's layout on Sunday. A timely chip in birdie on

the par 4 eighth and a 44 foot downhill bomb on the 72nd hole were the

dramatic highlights in a blistering final round 64 that ambushed the star-

studded field (finishing at 276 total - 12 under par). Molinari won by two

over Fitzpatrick, who closed with 71 (-10). McIlroy, playing in the final

pairing with Fitzpatrick, never could muster any kind of rally, settling for

an even-par 72 to finish in a disappointing tie for sixth at 8 under par.


For Molinari, he picks up where 2018 left off, the Arnold Palmer Invitational

was his third PGA Tour victory in his last twelve starts. "Yeah, Obviously super

happy the way I did it today, I tried to be aggressive from the start and it was

nice to see quite a lot of putts dropping for, especially my standards. So I think

it's been the best putting round ever in my career, and it's nice to do it obviously

in those circumstances," Molinari said. "On 18 that flag kind of tempts you in but

my caddie told me to go a little left and just give myself a long putt. I don't know,

there must be something going on with that line, because it seems that a lot of

guys winning the tournament make that putt - but I'll probably say I was the first

to make it with the flag in."


With the win, Francesco Molinari earned $1.648 million, a 3 year exemption on

tour and moved to 20th in the Fedex Cup standings.