Francesco Molinari Shoots Final-Round 64 to Win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Aaron Baddeley is chasing a first win on the PGA Tour since July 2016

HOW did that just happen?

Francesco Molinari clinched a two-stroke victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he stormed home with a closing eight-under-par 64 in Florida on Sunday.

"I said this after I won the Open Championship a year ago, I didn't enjoy it - that half an hour - at all and I didn't enjoy today at all watching the other guys", he said. But the day belonged to the 36-year-old Italian. He would bogey his final hole to finish the week at two under, having given four shots back over the last two holes. It was another disappointing tournament for a man who is developing an unfortunate habit of being able to finish the job off. His final triumph was a 44-foot birdie putt from the back of the green to the familiar Sunday pin location at the 18th, tucked in the right corner, hanging on the edge of the water. Playing his third from the drop zone, he came up short again, this time in the bunker.

England's Fitzpatrick came closest to catching Molinari, but rued a missed 12-foot eagle putt at the 16th that would have cut the deficit to one stroke.

He birdied the fourth and parred the other eight holes on his way to the turn in the final round, but found himself overtaken by Molinari. He will be bitterly disappointed to have seen another great victory chance slip through his fingers. It was a bit of a disappointment for Fowler following three straight finishes in the top 30 at this event and his runner-up finish last week at the Honda Classic. Instead, Wallace finished with back-to-back bogeys while Fitzpatrick couldn't manage better than a couple of pars. "Those are two of the guys that you want to play with". It was a day to forget for Graeme McDowell as his 78 saw him in tied-54th on two over.

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Molinari's birdie trail continued at the 12th and 13th to move alongside Fitzpatrick at the top of the leaderboard. He becomes the fifth South African victor of this event after Darren Fichardt, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Branden Grace. I've seen so many putts on TV like that and to do it yourself it's really unbelievable. "I'm not scared to say that, or I'm not shy of confidence in that way", Molinari said.

"I kind of see the Claret Jug every day when I'm at home, so I'm used to seeing it", said Molinari, drawing a laugh in the media center. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no one got closer than two shots the rest of the way. Finding the greenside rough on No. 8, he took the 45-foot pitch and buried it in the bottom of the cup, moving to four-under for the round.

The Italian holed some 146 feet of putts during the final round, gaining 4.237 over the field on the greens in what he dubbed his "best putting round ever" - an impressive accolade for the new Odyssey putter in his bag. It turned out to be too much for anyone to catch him. He played the four par 5s in 1 under.

Karlsson signed for a 69, Elvira, Lorenzo-Vera and Van Rooyen went round in 70, and overnight leader Wilson finished with a 71.

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