Francesco Molinari made one of the toughest courses and most difficult setups on the PGA Tour look easy on the way to a two-shot victory on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Resort and Club in Orlando.
Molinari, the reigning Open Champion, leapfrogged 16 players and zoomed up the leaderboard while fashioning an 8-under 64 in the final round on Sunday to finish at 12 under, and then waited for two hours in the clubhouse to see if anyone could catch him.
No one could -- or even made a decent charge on a course with a setup that was difficult to attack for everyone else. Molinari made 146 1/2 feet of putts in the final round, the 36-year-old Italian's most ever in a PGA Tour event.
"It was just really more about the process and to do better what I didn't do as good yesterday," Molinari explained. "Then you make some putts at the beginning, you get it rolling, you just keep the foot on the pedal. I definitely got everything out of (the round). It's probably my best putting round ever."
Matthew Fitzpatrick of England, the third-round leader, shot a 71 on Sunday to finish two back and alone in second. Fitzpatrick's round included two birdies and a bogey on the 15th hole, all but dooming his chances to catch Molinari.
Sungjae Im of South Korea shot a 68 on Sunday and finished tied for third along with second-round co-leader Tommy Fleetwood of England (68) and first-round leader Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain (69).
International players garnered eight of the top nine positions on the leaderboard and have now won this tournament for each of the last four years.
Molinari's bogey-free round included eight birdies and was capped by a 43-foot putt that clanged off the flagstick for one of those on the final hole.
Molinari, who had a hole-in-one during his opening round on Thursday, began his final round with a 30-footer for birdie, the first of three birdies in his first six holes. He barely missed a short eagle putt on the par-5 16th or his round would have been even more spectacular.
The win was his third on the PGA Tour and ninth worldwide. Molinari's best finish of the season prior to this week was a tie for 17th at the WGC-Mexico Championship last month.