By Adam Schupak
ORLANDO, Fla. – After Marc Leishman drained a 51-foot bomb for eagle at the 16th hole Sunday and got up and down at the 18th for his first PGA Tour title since 2012, his 5-year-old-son, Harvey, tugged Leishman’s arm and asked, "Daddy, can we go get the trophy?"
"We'll get it in a minute," said Leishman, who shot 11-under 277 at Bay Hill Club and Lodge to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Moments later, wife Audrey dived into Leishman’s arms and they embraced. It was a poignant moment, especially given the trying times that the Leishman family faced in the past two years.
By Alex Miceli
When Justin Rose announced recently that he would skip this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, it would have been easy to criticize the decision.
After all, how hard would it be for Rose, who was No. 13 in the Official World Golf Ranking, to fly to Austin, Texas, on a private jet and play three or five days before catching a private flight back home to Orlando or the Bahamas?
Same thing for Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler, all among the world’s top 10, who also opted out of this week’s $9.75 million event designed for the world’s top 64 golfers. (Adam Hadwin, who leaped into the top 64 of the Official World Golf Ranking with his victory at the Valspar Championship, opted out of the Match Play because he is getting married.)
Morning Read staff report
Las Vegas oddsmakers like what they see in Rory McIlroy this spring and have improved his odds of winning an elusive Masters green jacket.
McIlroy shot the lowest rounds on the weekend, 65-69, to climb into a tie for fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla. With the Masters only two weeks away, McIlroy improved Sunday to an 8-1 choice to win the green jacket and complete the career Grand Slam. McIlroy had been listed at 10-1.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion who blew a five-stroke lead on the back nine of last year’s event, continues to top the Vegas odds at 6-1. Dustin Johnson, the reigning U.S. Open champion, is second at 7-1, followed by McIlroy.
Number of Champions Tour career victories for Tom Lehman, 58, who erased a three-stroke deficit Sunday with a 7-under 66 in the Tucson Conquistadores Classic. Lehman shot 20-under 199 at Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course to edge Steve Stricker, who was making his 50-and-older debut, by one stroke.
Third-round score by Anna Nordqvist, 11 under par, which propelled her to victory in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix. Nordqvist, of Sweden, shot 25-under 263 to defeat American Stacy Lewis, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and South Korea’s In Gee Chun by two strokes.
Number of starts on the PGA Tour since Marc Leishman, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday with a final-round 3-under 69 and 277 total at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla., had last won. Leishman, 33, of Australia, also won the 2012 Travelers Championship. Third-round co-leaders Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman shot 73s and finished one stroke back, at 278.
Entered: In this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Jason Dufner, K.T. Kim, Joost Luiten, Pat Perez and Si Woo Kim. They won spots at Austin (Texas) Country Club when Rickie Fowler, Adam Hadwin, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson pulled out of the round-robin format for the top 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Scheduled: To sign his new book at 12:30 p.m. today in New York, Tiger Woods, who wrote “The 1997 Masters: My Story” with Lorne Rubenstein. The signing, at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square store, is limited to customers who purchase the book, which lists for $30.
PGA/European tours: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin (Texas) Country Club
PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open
Coco Beach Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
LPGA: Kia Classic
Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.
Web.com Tour: Chitimacha Louisiana Open
Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club, Broussard, La.
Symetra Tour: IOA Championship
Morongo GC at Tukwet Canyon, Beaumont, Calif.
Symetra Tour: Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club
Amateur: Azalea Invitational
Country Club of Charleston (S.C.)
LPGA: ANA Inspiration
Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore), Rancho Mirage, Calif.
PGA Tour: Shell Houston Open
Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas
Champions Tour: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Miss.
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament
Augusta (Ga.) National GC
Symetra Tour: Northern California Classic
Windsor (Calif.) GC
LPGA: Lotte Championship
Ko Olina GC, Kapolei, Hawaii
European Tour: Trophee Hassan II
Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco
PGA Tour: RBC Heritage
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Champions Tour: Mitsubishi Electric Classic
TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.
Junior: Sage Valley Junior Invitational
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, S.C.
European Tour: Shenzhen International
Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
Web.com Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship
Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.
Symetra Tour: Sara Bay Classic
Sara Bay CC, Sarasota, Fla.
National Golf Day
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