Article

McIlroy cruises to victory at Bay Hill, where Tiger impresses

19 March 2018 00:43

Former world number one Rory McIlroy ended his PGA Tour drought after cruising to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy – a four-time major champion – carded an eight-under-par 64 to win by three strokes at Bay Hill Golf Course on Sunday.

After starting the year with two top-three finishes on the European Tour, McIlroy struggled to acclimate to the PGA Tour, finishing in the top 20 just once in four starts, while twice missing the cut.

McIlroy's struggles on the PGA Tour meant he had not won away from the European circuit since September 2016 but that changed in Orlando, Florida this week.

The Northern Irish star finished with five birdies on his last six holes – highlighted by a 375-yard drive on the par-five 16th – as he reached 18 under, ahead of Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau began his round one shot behind overnight leader Henrik Stenson.

Both DeChambeau and Stenson got off to slow starts, but the former eagled the par-five 16th to give himself a chance.

DeChambeau ultimately shot a final-round 68 to finish second at 15 under, while Stenson finished five strokes off the pace in fourth.

Justin Rose finished third at 14 under, with the Englishman now boasting nine top-five placings since last season's BMW Championship.

American star Tiger Woods made a run on Sunday, shooting up the leaderboard to within one shot of the lead on his back nine.

But two late bogeys derailed the 14-time major champion's progress following his three-under-par 69.

Woods, fresh off a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship last week, ended in a tie for fifth at 10 under with Ryan Moore.

Defending champion Marc Leishman posted a 67 as he rose into a tie for seventh, while Rickie Fowler (74) finished six under, a stroke ahead of 2016 winner and former world number one Jason Day (72).

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