'Best putting round ever' lifts Molinari to brink of Bay Hill win

Tough time Rory Mc Ilroy shows his frustration at Bay Hill

Tough time Rory Mc Ilroy shows his frustration at Bay Hill

He was also one of the few to relish the speed of the greens.

"It was a really good day, hugely rewarding", the 33-year-old Harding said.

The other two spots went to Sungjae Im, the 20-year-old South Korean who closed with a 68 and tied for third; and Honda Classic victor Keith Mitchell, who made eight birdies in his final round of 66 to tie for sixth.

English overnight leader Matthew Fitzpatrick shot 71 to claim second place on 10-under.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational once again delivered 72nd-hole dramatics, only this time they came more than two hours early Sunday at Bay Hill.

McIlroy shot a level-par 72 on Sunday, after beginning the day at eight under. I've never been a fast starter on the PGA Tour.

"It's one of those I sort of stood over shots sort of wanting to go maybe, two, three yards close to the flag and so me and Billy were sort of discussing about going two yards further away, which hindsight is a pain and I wish I had not done it", Fitzpatrick added.

All that mattered was that it dropped, capping off a five-shot rally with a final round no one imagined on a fast Bay Hill course with putting surfaces that looked closer to white than green, making it hard for anyone to get it close to the hole.

Dembele worry for Barcelona ahead of Lyon showdown
Unfortunately for Rayo they couldn't hold on until half time with Gerard Pique getting his head on the end of a Lionel Messi free kick, heading the ball home to get Barca back on level terms.

Fitzpatrick, able to manage only a 1-under 71 in his effort to turn his 54-hole lead into his first PGA Tour victory, finished solo second at 10-under. As for Fleetwood, he showed impressive powers of recovery with a 68 after a third-round 76 on Saturday, to finish tied third.

Molinari bogey-free gem was 13 shots better than playing partner Billy Horschel, almost eight shots better than the field average and two shots better than anyone on Sunday.

Molinari entered the API the world's 10th-ranked player, but a bit of an afterthought in a star-studded field featuring 12 of the top 20.

If you were wondering how on earth Molinari would come up with an encore following his three victories worldwide last season and heroics in Paris, wonder no more. He becomes the fifth South African victor of this event after Darren Fichardt, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Branden Grace.

Molinari said it was among his career highlights to claim victory at the tournament formerly hosted by the late Palmer, the legendary seven-time major champion who died in 2016.

"I need to say thank you to the Callaway team because they fit it into the, fitted me into the new clubs very smoothly and it's been a very easy transition". I didn't enjoy it but it's good fun, I'm glad it happened and now we move on. "I started building my confidence and seeing I could get it done".

It was more of the same on the back nine, with Molinari getting out of every pinch without dropping a shot. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no-one got closer than two shots the rest of the way.

Molinari watched the birdie putt kiss off the pin and into the cup. 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. Karlsson dropped shots on the 13th and 14th but recovered on the 16th and last, while Elvira bogeyed the 17th but birdied the next. Vijay Singh will be teeing it up with the kids for the third time in four weeks at the Players Championship.

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