ORLANDO, Fla. — British Open champion Francesco Molinari hit a 45-foot birdie putt to cap an 8-under 64, coming from five shots behind Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Molinari watched the birdie putt kiss off the pin and into the cup. He raised his fist and hammered it down in celebration, knowing that would make him hard to beat.

Molinari started so far back that he finished nearly two hours before the round ended. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no one got closer the rest of the way.

“To do it here at Arnie’s place, knowing my wife and kids are watching from home, it’s very special,” Molinari said.

He won for the fourth time in the last nine months and in his first start since signing a new equipment deal.

Matt Fitzpatrick managed only two birdies in his round of 1-under 71 and made a 3-foot par putt to finish alone in second.

Rory McIlroy started the final round one shot behind and never got anything going. He had two birdies, two bogeys and a 72 to tie for sixth.

CHAMPIONS: Kirk Triplett made a 12-foot eagle putt on the second hole of a playoff with Woody Austin to win the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach, California, for his seventh Tour victory.

Triplett, 56, forced the playoff with a similar left-to-right breaker for birdie on the par-5 18th, then matched Austin with a par on their first extra trip down the tree-lined hole.

Playing in the same group, Triplett and Austin each shot 3-under 68 to finish at 10-under 203.

Jeff Maggert and Scott McCarron finished a stroke out of the playoff. McCarron three-putted the 18th from 30 feet for par and a 68. Maggert shot a 65.

EUROPEAN: Justin Harding of South Africa birdied three of the last four holes to win the Qatar Masters by two strokes at Doha and earn his first Tour title.

Harding shot a 6-under 66 in the final round for a 13-under total of 275, ahead of a packed group in second that included compatriots George Coetzee (68), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (68), Erik Van Rooyen (70) and the overnight leader, Oliver Wilson of England.

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