THE CLOSER. THAT MIGHT BE an apt nickname for reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari.
Molinari carded an 8-under 64 at Bay Hill on Sunday to finish 12 under in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That was good enough for a two-shot victory over Matthew Fitzpatrick. Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood and Sungjae Im tied for third.
Molinari's third PGA Tour title included a lengthy putt on the final green that drew comparisons to Tiger Woods. (See above highlights.)
"The long game can take you only so far," Molinari said. "You can be in contention and have good finishes more often than other people. But when it comes to crunch time, you have to make the putts at the right time."
Next up is The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. And no, it's not the fifth major.