Molinari fires sizzling 64 to win Palmer Invitational

Molinari fires sizzling 64 to win Palmer Invitational

Molinari, who won the British Open, the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National and the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship and starred in Europe's Ryder Cup victory a year ago, isn't normally a strong starter during a season.

Before reaching the clubhouse to watch his fellow competitors, Molinari signed his scorecard and even stopped to kiss the Claret Jug on display this week at Bay Hill. He was also one of the few to relish the speed of the greens. "I guess I've become a lot more comfortable with the fact I'm going to fail more times than I succeed at that certain conquest or whatever you want to call it". Certainly you can't expect him to rally to victory every time he is in the final group, but this was the fourth time in those nine events he has been within one of the lead and failed to win. It led to a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 2011 PGA Championship victor Keegan Bradley fired a 68 that included six birdies to seize a share of a 36-hole lead for the first time since 2013.

Six players were tied for third at five-under, including the victor of last week's Honda Classic, Keith Mitchell (68).

"I thought there was an outside chance and just started making putts", 36-year-old Molinari told NBC television about his mindset after he had teed off five strokes from the lead. Sure, it was always going to be hard to deflect the fire Molinari was spewing, but at what point in a long series of "what are you going to do about that other guy having a career day?" do you start asking, "Why isn't Rory ever that other guy?"

Wilson finished with a birdie on the 18th for a 10-under total of 206, putting him one shot clear of a quartet of players that included second-round leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera of France, who shot a 71. The late Payne Stewart still holds the 72-hole record at Bay Hill of 264 in 1987.

Fitzpatrick didn't have much going, either. He hit pitching wedge that settled a foot away for a tap-in on the 15th, hit a pitch over the bunker from right of the green on the par-5 16th for a 4-foot birdie, and then finished with another pitching wedge to 10 feet for one last birdie.

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"I probably played too safe", the young Englishman said.

"I was level-par with them yesterday".

The 53-year-old MA player had an 11-under 131 total.

"It's so bunched", McIlroy said. The PGA Tour's four showcase groupings featured several players with lower rankings and lesser recent form than Molinari, who played the first two rounds with journeymen Brice Garnett and Ted Potter Jr.

The frustrated 48-year-old American, who hit an opening-round 68, said that he would play a practice round on Tuesday before deciding whether to compete in next week's Players Championship. "Tough to get it close to the hole". The Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour. He played bogey-free on the final day at Carnoustie for his first major. And he delivered a charge that was most appropriate on Palmer's home course.

"I'm not scared to say that, or I'm not shy of confidence in that way", Molinari added.

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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