Sweater weather

Francesco Molinari shot a final round 64 to surge to an Arnold Palmer win


It turns out that shooting 64 on Sunday is a solid strategy. Sunday at Bay Hill was supposed to be a showdown between a couple of European studs, but a third Euro stole the show. Francesco Molinari started the day five shots out of the lead, but eight birdies later he found himself as the Arnold Palmer Invitational champion. API Leaderboard

Italian Stallion

Francesco Molinari is not the flashy name that draws millions of casual fans but is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. Franky made 8 birdies and no bogies over his final round to chase down Matt Fitzpatrick and seal his fourth victory in the last year. He closed the event bogey-free over his last 28 holes, a trend in each of his four recent victories (h/t Justin Ray).

Franky has taken the slow approach to 2019 but is clearly ready to go. In just his third event of the season, he was able to mount a charge and win Arnie’s event in dramatic fashion. You can argue that he has been the best player in the world since last May and it doesn’t seem like he is going to slow down. His 64 was nearly eight shots better than field average on Sunday.

Fitz lacking magic

Matt Fitzpatrick was seeking his first career PGA Tour win on Sunday but ran into the buzzsaw of Molinari. He shot a solid 71 to capture 2nd but was always lacking the momentum needed to threaten the lead. Still, his 2nd-place finish gives him temporary special membership on the PGA Tour and allows him as many sponsor’s exemptions as he wants for the rest of the decision. Fitzpatrick is playing almost exclusively in Europe this season, but this finish could lead to more appearances in the states.

Sunday Scaries

Sunday hasn’t been kind to Rory McIlroy. He has now played in the Sunday final group in each of his last three events, finishing 3, 5, and 4 shots back of the winners. Over his last eleven final group chances, he has won just one time. He started Sunday just one shot back of Fitzpatrick but only made two birdies over the final 18. He has struggled most with the irons on Sundays, but on the brightside, you can’t win if you aren’t in contention and Rory leads the Tour in Strokes Gained on the season.

Other Leaderboard Notes

Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell, and Sung Kang all earned spots in the Open Championship by finishing in the top 10 on Sunday. Mitchell followed up his Honda Classic win with a solid T-6 while Im adds his third top-10 finish of the year.

Adam Long made just his third cut of the season at the API but was threatening the lead on Sunday. He made two eagles over his final nine, but a 71st-hole double bogey led to a T-12 finish.The API was the first PGA Tour event in which no American finished inside the top 5 since the 2010 Op

en Championship at St. Andrews (h/t Justin Ray). Keith Mitchell was the low American at T-6.

U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland made the cut as an amateur and finished T-40. Hovland has played in three PGA Tour events this season, but this was his first made cut. He’ll return to Oklahoma State to help the Cowboys try to repeat as NCAA champions.

Qatar Masters

South Africa’s Justin Harding shot a final-round 66 to close out the Qatar Masters on Sunday. Harding birdied three of his final four holes and squeaked out a two-shot win over a group of nine players tied for second. Harding won four times as a professional last year but this is his first win on the European Tour. Jorge Campillo and George Coetzee were amongst the group tied for second. Qatar Masters Leaderboard

R.I.P. Dan Jenkins

Late last Friday, the sports world lost Dan Jenkins, one of the most well-respected writers there has ever been. Jenkins is widely regarded as the best golf writer the world has ever seen, and his mentorship has spread throughout the media landscape. A lot has been posted about the life of this great writer, and we’ve compiled a few of our favorites. His daughter Sally wrote a great piece about the influence her father had on her as well as the legacy he left behind. Tom Callahan of Golfworld also wrote a comprehensive recap of the life of Dan Jenkins. His presence in media centers will definitely be missed by countless writers and athletes.

Quick Hooks

Tyrell Hatton is known as one of the most tightly wound golfers in professional golf. Listen in to his conversation with his caddy this weekend.

Kirk Triplett came from four shots back to win the Hoag Classic on the PGA Tour Champions. Triplett won on the second playoff hole with an eagle to beat Woody Austin for his 7th win on the Champions circuit. Leaderboard

The Latest Podcasts and Articles

Yolk with Doak: Confidential Guide Vol 5, hidden gems and routing

In the latest edition of the Yolk with Doak, Andy and Tom Doak discuss his latest book, The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses: Volume 5. Tom discusses traveling through India and experiencing the unique golf courses and culture. Tom also talks about a future book project centered around the topic of routing.Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.

Shotgun Start: Rory fades and Frankie rises, Gold Standard grievances, and Ernie Els is done with Augusta

We return from the weekend surly and ready to air some grievances. We start with the Sunday leaderboard shuffle at Bay Hill, where Rory sputtered and Francesco Molinari got hot. We lament some of the troubling FedExCup facts crowbarred into the broadcast and Paul Azinger’s contention that it was the biggest moment of Molinari’s career. We also address the matter of the instant contest at Bay Hill being interrupted with players arriving to the range and practicing at TPC Sawgrass, site of the gold standard. We review some of the featured groups for The Players and a couple competitors already calling it the first major of the year. Reports of soft conditions also have Andy hot and bothered as we get into some early Players discussion. Then we marvel at Ernie Els’ refreshingly candid comments about his relationship with Augusta before parting with a Masters fact of the day and some thoughts on the Jacksonville food scene. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify