Rory McIlroy surged to victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday at Bay Hill in Orlando with a run of five birdies over the final six holes in the final round.
McIlroy shot a 64 Sunday and finished at 18-under, claiming a 3-shot victory over Bryson DeChambeau. Here is some of what McIlroy had to say after the victory, his first on the PGA Tour since 2016.
On his improvements since last week:
“Not just my putting, sort of everything. Worked on my swing, my ballstriking, iron play. Just kept saying the last few weeks I wasn’t that far away. It just takes something just to click into place and something clicked into place with my long game. Obviously something clicked into place with my putting as well. This is the result. So it’s, it’s just so nice to see everything come together finally.”
On the start of his run of birdies at 13:
“I hit a really good sand wedge in here. Green was firm. I started it on the left edge, peeled back in, and obviously that was the start of the run coming in. It gave me a lot of momentum after not birdieing the par-5 12th.”
On his spectacular drive at 16:
“Yeah, this was massive. Best drive I hit probably all week. Started off hitting the driver on the par-5s this week and to hit one when I really needed to and get it up there and just have a flip wedge in was nice.”
On his raw emotion after closing out 18
“I’ve seen Tiger make this putt enough times to know what it does, so I just wanted to try and emulate that. Didn’t quite give it the hat toss. I was thinking about doing it. But, I mean, just to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special and I’m just really proud of myself to have hung in there over the past few months or nearly a year with injury and everything else that’s happened and to get my first PGA Tour win and I don’t know how long it is, it feels really nice.”
On the importance of winning an event named for Arnold Palmer:
“It means a lot. The last time I won a PGA Tour event was the day that Mr. Palmer passed away, so it’s a little bit ironic that I come here and win. But he set a great example to all us players to try and follow in his footsteps and if everyone on Tour could handle themselves the way Arnie did, the game of golf would be in a better place. He’s a fine man, I’m very lucky to have spent time with him, he shared a birthday with my wife, so we always talked about that. To be able to win his event, I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him, but I’m so happy to be winning that trophy.”
(Courtesy of ASAP Sports)