AUSTIN, Texas — Rory McIlroy had his first Arnold Palmer moment before the tournament even started. He had just finished his pro-am round at Bay Hill and was about to walk out of the tunnel leading from the 18th green when a man asked him for a picture. McIlroy obliged, because he usually does. But this was different. The man handed him a black bolero hat and told McIlroy it was from his squadron when he served in Vietnam. He didn’t want a selfie with McIlroy. He wanted a picture
ORLANDO, Fla. — The loudest roars at Bay Hill were for tiger Woods. The last ones were for Rory McIlroy. McIlroy left some indelible images of his own Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a back-nine charge that would have made the King proud, and a final putt on the 18th green that a delirious gallery had seen for so many years from Woods. McIlroy ran off five birdies over his last six holes and closed with an 8-under 64 for a three-shot victory. He won for the first
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Stenson had a hot putter, a much quieter crowd and a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. One week after Stenson returned from his winter break and spent two days with Tiger Woods and his raucous crowds, he made birdie on half of the holes at Bay Hill for an 8-under 64, his lowest round ever on the course the King built. PGA Tour rookies Aaron Wise and Talor Gooch each had 65. Wise missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Woods again
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Corey Conners knew Tiger Woods had finished his second round at Innisbrook because he couldn’t see him. He was only about 50 yards from the ninth green, but there were too many fans covering every inch of grass, packed in a dozen deep because of Woods. Woods brought the Valspar Championship to life Friday with his best round of a comeback that is building momentum toward the Masters. Conners was happy to play a quiet round in the afternoon and wind up with the
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods discovered how tough Innisbrook can be in a swirling wind, and he was up to the task. Woods smacked his hands into an oak as he let loose of the club during a bold escape from the trees, came within inches of an ace on the next hole, and most importantly was among 27 players — just under 20 percent of the field — to break par Thursday in the Valspar Championship. Canadian rookie Corey Conners, who got into the field as an alternate not
MEXICO CITY — Phil Mickelson knew this was coming, even when he had so little to show for it. Mickelson had gone 101 tournaments around the world since he last won at Muirfield in the 2013 British Open, which moved him to No. 2 in the world and gave him the third leg of the career Grand Slam. In more than two decades on the PGA Tour, he had gone only two seasons without winning. And then it was up to four straight years and counting. There was more frustration than self-doubt.