Rory McIlroy ends 18-month trophy drought thanks to dazzling display in last round of Arnold Palmer Invitational

RORY MCILROY gave himself the right pre-Masters increase as he stormed again to profitable methods on the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy fired a blistering last round sixty four to declare his first victory in 18 months – and instantly his possibilities of finishing the profession Grand Slam at Augusta in slightly below three weeks’ time look an entire lot brighter.

 Rory McIlroy carded a final round of 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Rory McIlroy carded a last round of sixty four to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational
 The four-time major winner holds the trophy aloft after his two-shot victory

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The 4-time main winner holds the trophy aloft after his two-shot victory
 The 28-year-old is given the new red Arnold Palmer jumper

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The 28-yr-previous is given the brand new purple Arnold Palmer jumper

The 4-time Majors champion breezed previous Ryder Cup group-mate Henrik Stenson thanks to a shocking run of 4 birdies in as row from the thirteenth gap, and he completed in fashion by sinking a 25 footer on the last.

That sparked a trademark fist pump celebration, and the 4 time Main winner will now round off his Masters preparations on the Dell World Match Play Championship in Texas – and he’ll go there with the swagger again in his stride.

It was Stenson’s enjoying companion, golfing egghead Bryson DeChambeau, who emerged as McIlroy’s closest challenger. However even an eagle on the lengthy sixteenth left him two photographs adrift of the winner’s 17 underneath par complete.

McIlroy began the season with two prime tree finishes however missed the minimize on the Valspar Championship last week – and he couldn’t have timed his return to type any higher.

 The Northern Irishman will be hoping to carry on his momentum at the Masters

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The Northern Irishman will probably be hoping to keep it up his momentum on the Masters
 Rory McIlroy celebrates with his caddie Harry Diamond after the 18th hole

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Rory McIlroy celebrates together with his caddie Harry Diamond after the 18th gap

A magical last day in Orlando additionally featured an exciting cost from the resurgent Tiger Woods.

Woods was 5 photographs behind fifty four gap tempo-setter Stenson when he set off, however a ninth victory at Bay Hill appeared an actual risk as six birdies in his first thirteen holes noticed him shut to inside a shot of the lead.

The roars of ‘come on Tiger’ might be heard everywhere in the course as Woods, forty two, rolled again the years, charging to 12 underneath par.

He made an actual mess of the ninth to give one again however he bounced again is fashion – just for the wheels to come off on the par 5 sixteenth, the simplest gap on the course.

Woods had birdied it 3 times, however in all probability felt he wanted an eagle this time as McIlroy had joined Stenson on thirteen underneath, with lots of straightforward holes to come.

However he and his military of followers watched in horror as his tee shot flew out of bounds down the left of the opening, and he was pressured to reload.

Woods managed to ‘birdie’ the opening together with his second ball to restrict the injury to a bogey six. However he nonetheless seemed shell-shocked as he dropped one other shot on the seventeenth.

The one comfort was that McIlroy’s brilliance over the closing holes meant this was not going to be his day anyway – however a terrific par save on the 18th instructed it ought to come quickly.

 McIlroy putted four birdies in a row from the 13th hole en route to his success

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McIlroy putted 4 birdies in a row from the thirteenth gap en route to his success

 The three-time Ryder Cup winner hasn't won a major since 2014

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The three-time Ryder Cup winner hasn't gained a serious since 2014

McIlroy’s last victory, on the 2016 Tour Championship, got here on the day golfing legend Palmer handed away, and he stated that made this win much more poignant.

He stated: “To win an occasion with Arnold’s identify on it provided that my last victory was on the day he handed away makes this much more particular.

“This win was simply superior. I’ve missed this. I’ve been saying for some time that I wasn’t distant – however no-one believed me!

“I used to be 4 behind early on, so I advised myself I had to give myself some respectable seems at birdies. – and it appeared like I had respectable possibilities on each gap aside from 15. And I made birdie there by chipping in!

“I do know I missed the minimize last week, nevertheless it didn’t harm my confidence as a result of I had an incredible week’s follow earlier than this occasion.

 McIlroy reacts after putting a huge 25 foot putt on the 18th hole

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McIlroy reacts after placing an enormous 25 foot putt on the 18th gap
 McIlroy will now be one of the favourites at Augusta in three weeks

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McIlroy will now be one of the favourites at Augusta in three weeks

“I additionally took so much from the best way I performed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi firstly of the yr, after getting back from my rib damage. I had a bit of a dip once I came to visit right here to America, however I’m again now.”

Probably the most dramatic change has been in McIlroy’s placing. It has been good all week, however he want simply 21 putts in the ultimate round, which bodes nicely for Augusta.

He added: “I’ve freed myself up quite a bit with the putter. I’m concentrating on visualisation – seeing the ball drop – somewhat than getting all technical,.

“It labored nice right here, and I’m hoping it’s going to proceed to work this properly for a very long time to come.”

RORY MCILROY gave himself the right pre-Masters increase as he stormed again to profitable methods on the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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