Francesco Molinari catches fire Sunday en route to Arnold Palmer Invitational win


Almost a dozen players were within three shots of the lead throughout Sunday’s final round at Bay Hill, but Francesco Molinari was able to break from the pack to win the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

With his new Callaway clubs, “The Champion Golfer of the Year” caught fire in the final round with an 8-under 64, the day’s lowest round. Molinari moved to 12-under for the tournament to take the clubhouse lead, a position he never relinquished as the rest of the field finished play.

The win at Bay Hill is Molinari’s third professional victory in the last calendar year that also includes a successful showing for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup in Paris last Fall.

Englishmen Matt Wallace and Matthew Fitzpatrick both tried to make late pushes, but neither were able to catch Molinari. Fitzpatrick finished in second at -10, followed by Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrera Bello T-3 at -9.

Wallace finished eagle-bogey-bogey and dropped to T-6 at -8 with last weekend’s winner Keith Mitchell, Sung Kang and defending champion Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy began the day in the final pairing but didn’t have the magic to go on a late run like he did en route to his 2018 title. For the seventh time in the last 12 months, McIlroy was in the final group on Sunday and failed to close out the tournament.

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