Rory McIlroy Wins Arnold Palmer Invitational
Rory McIlroy won the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bayhill Club & Lodge in Orlando, FL, held over the weekend of March 15-18, 2018.
The win, the 22nd of his career, was McIlroy’s first since September 25, 2016, the day of Arnold Palmer’s death.
"It's ironic to think that the last time I won was when Arnie passed away. To be able to create my own little piece of history on the 18th green here was pretty special,” McIlroy remarked following his win.
McIlroy’s performance on the back 9 Sunday cemented the win. Rory strung together 4 straight birdies on 13, 14, 15 and 16.
"It was awesome to feel the buzz of being somewhere around the lead going into the back nine and reeling off those four birdies in a row. I've missed it, I really have missed it, and to play the sort of golf that I played today under that pressure, I'm really proud of myself and just so happy to win."
Around the time of Rory McIlroy’s impressive charge, Tiger Woods began to fade. After falling just short of taking the win last weekend at Valspar, Tiger was again in the hunt, starting Sunday 5 shots off the lead. He remained in striking distance after stringing together a run of 3 birdies in 4 holes, but after an errant tee shot on the par 5 16th, Woods was unable to close the gap.
"I wasn't committed to what I was going to do,'' Woods said. "If I hit a driver, I have to hit it with a cut. Back of my mind, I said, 'Why don't you just bomb it over the top?' It's only like 320 [yards] to carry, and as hot as it is, the ball's flying. Or just hit a 3-wood straight away, don't do anything. It's going to go 310, 315 as hot as it right now, and that's going to leave me an 8-iron. And so, in the back of my mind, I'm running through these different scenarios, and it's on me. I didn't commit to either one of those three shots, and I hit a poor one.''
Tiger’s quote, although referencing a poorly played ball, should still be taken as a positive for anyone looking for clues on whether he’s back in winning form.
“Tiger’s quote is really good news,” stated GLT’s Iain Highfield. “It shows that he’s no longer worrying any physical aspect of his game, he’s playing in the moment again.”
“Golf swing mechanics actually start with the mental process that proceeds the swinging of the club. The mind drives the body, the body drives the club, and the club drives the ball.” Highfield said. “To elite players, golf is a math problem that leads to a sensory response, and that sensory response is what drives movement. Tiger has been quoted as saying he plays to a picture - a mental image or feel. By not committing to a particular shot, he failed to play to that picture.”
For more on Highfield’s OSVEA system, pre-shot routines and the pre-shot process, please see the related articles tab.