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By : BGA Proshop
What a great time for golf! The weekend was packed with drama and in the end McIlroy had to shoot a final round of 64 to win his first tournament since 2016.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill was built up as something special this year and it didn't let us down. All eyes were on Woods to see if he could win his first tournament in 4 years and he was right there towards the end but sending his driver out of bounds on the 16th hole put an end to his charge. At that point Woods was only one shot off the lead and needed a birdie to keep the pressure on the leaders but walked away with a bogey and all eyes turned to McIlroy.
When McIlroy walked onto the 13th tee, five players were all in contention but walking off the 13th green he had taken the lead from Henrik Stenson. This is when he strung together some of the best golf we had seen him play this year reeling off 4 birdies in a row and then capped it off with a final birdie on 18th. The putt on 18th was special and even McIlroy knew it. "I've seen Tiger make that enough times to know what it does," McIlroy said. "So I just wanted to try and emulate that. Didn't quite give it the hat toss — I was thinking about doing it. But just to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special." Tiger had made birdie putts from roughly the same spot to win in 2001, 2008 and 2009.
That putt on the 18th gave him a two-shot lead with Bryson DeChambeau having to hole out from the middle of the fairway on 18th to take it into a playoff. DeChambeau made bogey and finished alone in second which is another fantastic finish for him.
Justin Rose who finished 3rd lingered all day but was never a threat in the final hours said this after the round. "Rory played incredible golf and it was fun — great to see world class players do that," Rose said after a 67. "It's not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me. But when he is making putts, he's incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play."
Hard luck Stenson finished in 4th with Woods finishing in a tied for 5th. The winner in 2017 and Australian Marc Leishman had another solid performance finished in a tied for 7th.
With only 2 more PGA Tour events before the Masters, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and Houston Open, we are in for another exciting Masters Tournament.