Arnold Palmer Invitational: Francesco Molinari grabs two-shot Bay Hill victory

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Molinari made only one birdie in round three, but took eight on the last day on Arnold Palmer's Invitational final leaderboard-12 F Molinari (Ita); -10 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -9 S Im (Kor), T Fleetwood (Eng), R Cabrera Bello (Spa); -8 K Mitchell (USA), S Kang (Kor), M Wallace (R), R McIlroy (NI) Other selected: -4 I Poulter (Eng); -3 T Hatton (Eng); -2 S Horsfield (Eng); +2 G McDowell (NI); +3 E Pepperell (Eng); +5 J Rose

Open champion Francesco Molinari produced a stunning, bogey-free eight-under-64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by two shots in Orlando.

The 36-year-old world number 10, five behind & # 39; s night, sank a 44-foot birdie putt on the last for a 12-under total.

Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, who started a lead in his bid for a virgin PGA title, dropped only one shot but could only find two birdies in his 71.

Rory McIlroy also had only two birdies and he tied for sixth at eight lower.

With the fast paced greens again hard to keep at Bay Hill, Molinari, European Tour Golfer of the year in 2018, entrenched from thick rough behind the green on the eighth for its fourth birdie of the day.

The Italian, who finished an hour and 40 minutes before the last group, left an eagle gate on the edge of the 16th hole, but finally rattled in an eighth birdie to get a formidable tar , leaving Fitzpatrick two shots in second place with six holes to play.

Molinari also received a red cardigan with an insignia: "Arnie & # 39; s Army, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Champion" and the umbrella logo of the deceased Arnold Palmer

The 24-year-old from Sheffield, who did not drop a shot in the round three, then made his first bogey of the last day on the 15th to fall three adrift with three to play.

A 12-foot eagle chance on the 16th slipped through and he had to putt a three-foot par hole at last to secure the only possession of second.

That had the world number 44 to special temporary membership on the PGA Tour, with unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

McIlroy, one behind in the last round, was curled into a 15 meter long birdie-putt at the third to share the lead, but a five-foot birdie opportunity turned to the next and he left a shot on the par three seventh after missing the green.

The Northern Irishman had a ride and a wedge to the 501-ya rd par-five 16th but, like playmate Fitzpatrick, the putts would not fall on the last day and also kept his eagle's chance.

Combative Englishman Matt Wallace reached 10 under with an eagle on the 16th before he found a greenside bunker near the next and lipped his par-putt outside. The frustration for the world number 37 was when he putted the last three and finished eighth.

First-round leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello was second when he approached the last water found and he dropped to nine.

The Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, the half-way leader who slid down with a 76 on Saturday, also finished nine under.

The world number 14 took place from a bunkering bunker to within two feet at the first one for a bird, one of the five in its closing 68.

Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, who had hoping to win Open qualifying this week, had two double bogeys and a triple bogey in a 78 and was tied to a 54th place against two and had started on a 68.

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