Lahiri disappoints; McIlroy ends drought

Lahiri disappoints; McIlroy ends drought

Lahiri disappoints; McIlroy ends drought

Anirban Lahiri ended a disappointing week with a horrendous card of six-over 78 to finish T-75 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational here on Sunday.

Lahiri dropped six bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies in his final round to total nine-over 297.

Four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, made a back-nine charge like never before with five birdies in six closing holes to end a nearly 18-month winless period dating back to the day Arnold Palmer passed away on September 25, 2016.

Ironically, McIlroy's first win since came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he carded a final day 8-under 64 and won by three shots.

Much before McIllroy produced his fireworks, Tiger Woods was the man in focus, as he has been since his return at the Hero World Challenge in December 2017. There was a stage when Woods, clad in trademark Sunday red-shirt, made three birdies in a four-hole stretch to start the back nine and he was within a shot off the lead.

Then came the 16th, where his driver on the par-5 16th hole went far left and over a fence and out-of-bounds. It was a bogey when he desperately needed a birdie. It ended his momentum and he finished bogey-bogey-par for a 3-under 69 and tumbled down the leaderboard into a tie for fifth.

Just around then McIlroy began his charge and at that stage five players were separated by one shot. And then McIlroy ran away.

He made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 13th to take the lead over Henrik Stenson, and then rolled one in from 20 feet on the next hole. To add to that McIlroy chipped in from 40 feet on the 15th hole, and then pounded a 375-yard drive on the 16th that set up a two-putt birdie.

Bryson DeChambeau chased hard and at 16th he came out of the rough and went over the water and found the green. His eagle putt caught just enough of the cup to drop in and he was only one behind.

But, McIlroy putted from about 25 feet above the hole on 18th to experience a feeling in a manner like Woods did in 2001, 2008 and 2009. McIlroy raised both arms in the air and turned to slam his fist as the crowds broke into a huge roar.

It gave McIlroy a two-shot lead and when DeChambeau needing to hole out from the fairway for eagle failed, McIlroy had won his 22nd title.

DeChambeau made bogey from the bunker on the 18th for a 68 and finished alone in second three shots behind.

Aditi sparkles

Aditi Ashok seemed to have regained her form on the final day as she carded six birdies en route to a week's best card of four-under 68 to finish T-26 at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on the LPGA in Phoenix on Sunday.

The 19-year-old, playing her second season on the LPGA, was making her first start since missing one in Australia at the beginning of the year. She had three birdies against one bogey on either side of the turn and took her total from four-under 212 and tied-50th place to eight-under 280 and tied-26th place, which gave her a decent start and a cheque of USD 12,697.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Inbee Park built on her solid 54-hole position to complete her 19th LPGA win. On Sunday, she had four birdies in a row beginning on No 12 on back nine to win by five strokes over 54-year-old Laura Davies, Ariya Jutanugarn and Marina Alex.

 

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