Pro Golf Weekly

Winner’s Circle: Molinari Claims Victory at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Francesco Molinari started his final round at Bay Hill tied for 17th and five shots off the pace. But after posting a tournament-low 64 – coupled with the struggles of Matthew Fitzpatrick (71) and Rory McIlroy (72), the 36-year old Italian was 12-under par and the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On his fourth and final day in Orlando, Molinari finished with 10 pars and eight birdies – four per side, highlighted by an exclamation-point birdie on the 18th hole.

The win was Molinari‘s third in his last 12 PGA Tour starts, which included his first major title at the Open Championship last summer.

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari celebrates a birdie on the 18th hole with caddie Pello Iguaran during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club on March 10, 2019 in Orlando, FL. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

PRO-FILE

Nationality: Italy
Height: 5′ 8″
Weight: 160 lb
Birthdate: November 8, 1982 (age 36)
Native: Turin, Italy
Resides: London, England
College: University of Turin (Italy)
Primary Sponsor: Nike
Equipment: Callaway


The Winner’s Circle is powered by Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls, the brand Francesco Molinari trusted to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.



ROUND-BY-ROUND

Pos-Player-Score (Rd Score)

ROUND 1
1. Rafa Cabrera Bello -7 (-7)
2. Keegan Bradley -5 (-5)
8. Francesco Molinari -3 (-3)

ROUND 2
1. Tommy Fleetwood -9 (-6)
1. Keegan Bradley -9 (-4)
3. Francesco Molinari -5 (-2)

ROUND 3
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick -9 (-5)
2. Rory McIlroy -8 (-6)
17. Francesco Molinari -4 (+1)

FINAL ROUND
1. Francesco Molinari -12 (-8)
2. Matthew Fitzpatrick -10 (-1)
3. Sung-jae Im -9 (-4)
3. Tommy Fleetwood -9 (-4)
3. Rafael Cabrera Bello -9 (3)


MOLINARI’S STATS

Driving: 294.7 yards (36th)
Fairways: 43/56, 76.8% (3rd)
Greens: 48/72, 66.7% (6th)
Putts: 1.708 (18th)
Scoring: 1 Eagle, 17 Birdies, 48 Pars, 5 Bogeys, 1 Double


2018-19 PGA TOUR SEASON

Starts: 4
Cuts Made: 4
Wins: 1 (Arnold Palmer Invitational)
Top 10s: 0
Money: $1,884,250 (13th)
Points: 598 (20th)
World Rank: 7

CAREER VICTORIES

PGA Tour: 3
2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational
2018 Open Championship
2018 Quicken Loans National

European Tour: 6
2018 Open Championship
2018 BMW PGA Championship
2016 Italian Open
2012 Open de Espana
2010 WGC-HSBC Champions
2006 Telecom Italia Open


MOLINARI’S FINAL-ROUND HIGHLIGHTS

Credit: PGA TOUR Media


MONEY EARNED

The victory earned Molinari $1,638,000 and 500 FedExCup points to move from 142nd to 20th in the PGA Tour’s points standings.


WORLD RANKING

Molinari received 64 OWGR points for the win, and will move from 10th to No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings.


QUOTABLE

“I’m just super glad. You know, it was the first week as a Callaway player, so happy to see that the switch I made wasn’t that crazy as some people thought. I know the clubs are good for me and I started this week — it’s crazy to do it here, to get it done here, at Arnie’s place, knowing that my wife and my kids were watching it back home, it’s just a special, special one.”
– Francesco Molinari

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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