Leishman wins Arnold Palmer Invitational by one stroke
Send a link to a friend
[March 20, 2017]
(Reuters) - Australian Marc
Leishman sank a monster eagle putt at the par-five 16th and stormed
to a one-stroke victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida
With a finish that would have earned the approval of the late
tournament host, Leishman sank a 50-footer dead center and then made
clutch up-and-down pars at the final two holes to secure the win at
The 33-year-old carded 69 to finish on 11-under-par 277 for the
tournament, clinching his second PGA Tour victory and an invitation
to the April 6-9 U.S. Masters.
Overnight leaders Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner, who both hit
73s, finished tied for second on 10-under.
Rory McIlroy, who will move up from third to second in the world
rankings behind Dustin Johnson, needed a birdie at the last to draw
level with Leishman but three-putted to finish two strokes behind
after carding a 69.
"I holed some good putts on the last few holes. They all went in the
middle of the hole, which is nice," Leishman said after a
celebratory hug with his wife Audrey and their two young boys.
"Obviously the putter was there with me all week. The putter has
been amazing this year. It's been really close and I just haven't
played quite like how I wanted to on Sundays but today was the day."
Leishman blew away a strong field to win the Nedbank Challenge by
six strokes on the European Tour in South Africa 15 months ago but
this was his first PGA Tour victory since his maiden triumph at
Hartford in 2012.
And it was Leishman's first victory in the U.S. since his wife
nearly died of toxic shock two years ago. She is now healthy again
and pregnant with their third child.
Leishman also took time to pay his respects to
Palmer, who died in September at the age of 87.
[to top of second column]
Marc Leishman holds the champions trophy and wears the red memorial
sweater after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament
at Bay Hill Club & Lodge . Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA
"Mr Palmer was an awesome guy who I was lucky enough to meet a few
times at this tournament," he said.
"Another reason why itís so special this week, this is the first
time Iíve won a tournament with my family here. It all came
Leishman, the third Australian to win at Bay Hill after Rod Pampling
in 2006 and Jason Day last year, credited a new driver with his
"Iíve been playing well all year," he said.
"Itís really been a game changer. Itís funny, this game is a lot
easier out of the fairway."
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten