Leishman grabs PGA win, Masters berth

Hardy named to Palmer Cup
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21 March, 2017

Rory McIlroy had as good a chance as anyone, storming into a share of the lead by hooking a wedge around a tree, over the water and over the green on the 16th, then almost holing the eagle chip. Neither could get anything going in the final round, and both shot 73.

Tyrrell Hatton (67), Marc Leishman (71) and Matt Fitzpatrick (72) were three shots behind.

Speaking about the 18th, McIlroy added: "I saw Leishman eagle 16 so I thought I really needed to try and hole it and I was overly aggressive with it and missed the one coming back, but it's been a good week and if anything, to be one over after two rounds and come up like this, it's a great weekend". It includes Rory McIlroy, who did not play the Arnold Palmer Invitational until 2015, and only then after Palmer jokingly said he was going to break his arm. "They weren't quite going in yesterday, but that one on 16, I actually hit that putt earlier in the week and missed it low left, and I worked on that, so practice pays off".

Kisner had birdie chances inside 20 feet on four of the next five holes and couldn't convert them, and his eagle putt from just over 20 feet on the par-5 16th was short.

It was the first by an Australian on the US PGA Tour this year, and the second this season after Rod Pampling's win in Las Vegas in November.

Palmer used to greet the victor on the 18th green.

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No disrespect to Nelson, one of the game's all-time greats, but Palmer is a larger-than-life figure and his tournament should live on as one of the premier events on the PGA Tour schedule. "He says, 'Daddy, why don't you ever win the trophy?'" said Leishman.

Hoffman curled in the shot of the tournament at the US PGA event on Orlando's famed Bay Hill course to cap a closing run of three consecutive birdies to join his US compatriot on 11-under 205 through 54 holes.

"Well, not happy", Kisner said. "At least I'm in with a shout and if I get off to a fast start I can be right in there".

But by the time he had recorded his seventh birdie of the day on the 16th, the four-time major victor had moved into a share of the lead with the American pair.

McIlroy was in the mix right up to the 18th hole, but the win went to Leishman, who got home in 69 for a winning 11-under total.

"If you get in the fairway you can sort of attack", Hoffman said. "Proud of fighting back and making a birdie on the last to finish second, but obviously not what I wanted". After staring at a bogey I nearly made birdie there, but I couldn't complain with a tap-in par. En route to victory, the player fought off challenges from a high-caliber field, including new world No. 2, Rory McIlroy. 'It's a disappointing finish but overall I'm really pleased with how I played on the weekend'.


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