Arnold Palmer Invitational Recap: Molinari Enjoying Career Year
Arnold Palmer Invitational Recap: Molinari Enjoying Career Year

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

Brandel Chamblee said something on Golf Channel during the Arnold Palmer Invitational that was just spot-on. He said that if there were only more rough on the PGA Tour, golfers couldn't just bomb it off the tee with little concern about where the ball landed. His point was that there should be retribution for missing a fairway. He's right. There isn't enough of that in U.S. golf these days.

Which brings us to the final leaderboard at rough-laden Bay Hill:

1. Francesco Molinari, 12-under
2. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 10-under
T3. Tommy Fleetwood  9-under
T3. Rafael Cabrera-Bello
T3. Sungjae Im
T6. Rory McIlroy, 8-under
T6. Matt Wallace
T6. Sung Kang
T6. Keith Mitchell

One of those things is not like the other.

In one of the biggest tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar, there was only one American in the top-nine finishers. The leaderboard was dominated by Europeans, led by Francesco Molinari, who closed with a scintillating 8-under 64 to come from way back to win.

If there is a worldwide poster boy for putting the ball in the fairway, it is Molinari. The Italian used that formula to breakthrough success in 2018, winning the Open Championship and vaulting into the top-10 in the world rankings. This win, his third on the PGA Tour, returned him to No. 7 in the OWGR.

As is tradition, perhaps the best victory ceremony in all of golf, Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, helped Molinari don the winner's red cardigan, a

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Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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