Marc Leishman makes late eagle to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard - Final Round Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

Marc Leishman makes late eagle to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

PGA Tour

Marc Leishman makes late eagle to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Here is a recap of Sunday’s final round of the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge:

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WINNER: Marc Leishman finally has his second PGA Tour win. The Aussie captured his first five years ago at the 2012 Travelers Championship, but it’s been a long wait for the follow up. But finally, it happened. Leishman started the day three shots behind but made it all up with a 3-under 69 in the final round. The 33-year-old was never really the main character until he buried a 51-footer for eagle at the par-5 16th. That gave him a one-shot lead at 11 under. He made two gutsy pars to close. Leishman rolled in a 6-footer for par at 17 and then hit a beautiful pitch from 45 yards to 3 feet to secure another at the last. That was enough to close out a one-shot win in the first playing of this event since Arnold Palmer’s passing.

JUST MISSED: This could have been Rory McIlroy’s tournament. The Northern Irishman was 11 back entering the weekend but shot 65 on Saturday and was tied for the lead Sunday after birdieing 16 to reach 10 under. But a 19-footer for birdie at 17 slid by, and he three-putted from 31 feet at the last to finish 9 under (closing 69) and lose any chance at the title. McIlroy finished T-4. Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman, the 54-hole co-leaders, tied for second at 10 under. Both had their chances, but Hoffman was essentially done after bogeying 17 to fall to 9 under. Kisner needed to birdie 18 to force a playoff but hit his tee shot in the left rough, knocked his approach in the left greenside bunker and couldn’t hole the shot for birdie.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Marc Leishman changed the complexion of the tournament late with the aforementioned eagle putt. Here is the huge stroke that moved him out in front for good.

QUOTABLE: “It’s obviously a really special week. Mr. Palmer was an awesome guy who I was lucky enough to meet a few times at this tournament. So to honor him is huge.” – Leishman, on winning the first Arnold Palmer Invitational after Arnold Palmer’s passing

CHIP SHOTS:  Tyrrell Hatton finished at 9 under alongside McIlroy. … Adam Hadwin, last week’s winner at the Valspar Championship, should’ve had a hole-in-one at 17 but got an unlucky kick off the middle of the pin. The birdie there did get him to 8 under and a solo sixth finish. … Emiliano Grillo came back from a disastrous 78 (which included this club toss) with a closing 68 to jump 12 spots to T-7 at 7 under. … Rickie Fowler finished the week at 5 under. That was good for solo 12th, but he followed up a stellar 65 with a mediocre Sunday 72. … Defending champion Jason Day finished T-23 at 2 under. The Aussie closed in 70 to jump 16 places to that spot. … Graeme McDowell, one of five tournament co-hosts this week but the only one competing in the event, finished at 1 under to place T-28.

UP NEXT: We’ve got a double dose of action next week as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play takes place in Austin, Texas and the Puerto Rico Open commences in Rio Grande. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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