Molinari delivered the highest quality on a day that required nothing less.
A familiar sight returned to Bay Hill on Saturday in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational: The confident stride of Rory McIlroy, holing birdie putts and making a run at defending his title at this event. It led to a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Two shots back of McIlroy, Kirk and a logjam of other players sharing third is Aaron Baddeley, the leading Australian at three under. "And it's nice to do it, obviously in those circumstances, at Arnie's place". "But then inside of 10 feet, a majority of players felt that it actually made the cup look smaller, and they found they had a harder time with the shorter putts".
"It's a pretty iconic putt", he said.
Since Nike stopped making clubs, I've gone through different stages.
The new Rules of Golf allow the flag to be left in for putts in the green, and most players leave it there on long putts. Especially if you hit it at a decent pace, it's going to go in no matter what. "It was really fantastic to see".
McIlroy, who usually eats par-5s for breakfast, lunch and dinner, played the four par-5s in just 1-under on Sunday, with three pars and a birdie.
Before reaching the clubhouse to watch his fellow competitors, Molinari signed his scorecard and even stopped to kiss the Claret Jug on display this week at Bay Hill. His birdie at the 16th was the only one on a par-5 in the final round, and it was disappointing given he had a makeable eagle putt.
The victor of last week's Honda Classic, Keith Mitchell, also finished at eight under after a final-round 66. Rafael Cabrera Bello went from 34th to 30th with his share of third place, while the same result vaulted Sungjae Im from 88th to 71st. The course was firm and fast yesterday and I knew it wasn't going to be easy for the guys in the lead, so I thought there was an outside chance.
He joins Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland with the most final rounds (four) of 64 or better on the PGA TOUR since the start of the 2016-17 season. "And if there is, like a four-iron or a five-wood or a three-wood, I've got the luxury of trying everything out".
But having started the day just two shots outside the top-10, he got off to a horrific start and carded a six-over-par 78 to finish 54th on two-over, mixing three birdies with two bogeys, two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey. It turned out to be too much for anyone to catch him.
But the 37-year-old Victorian said his disappointment did not last long when greeted by his family. The two will play together in the final pairing on Sunday.
"It was an unbelievable round from Francesco to shoot what he did, " McIlroy said. "So it's still a bit unreal to think that I've done kind of the same today".
The frustrated 48-year-old American, who hit an opening-round 68, said that he would play a practice round on Tuesday before deciding whether to compete in next week's Players Championship. "I just didn't play the par-5s well enough".
"I've become more comfortable with it", he said on Wednesday.
This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.