ORLANDO, Fla. — The loudest roars at Bay Hill were for tiger Woods. The last ones were for Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy left some indelible images of his own Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a back-nine charge that would have made the King proud, and a final putt on the 18th green that a delirious gallery had seen for so many years from Woods.
McIlroy ran off five birdies over his last six holes and closed with an 8-under 64 for a three-shot victory. He won for the first time since the Tour Championship on Sept. 25, 2016, the day Palmer died.
"I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him," McIlroy said. "But I'm so happy to put my name on that trophy."
Bay Hill was rocking all afternoon, mostly for that red shirt. Woods, who started the final round five shot behind, made three birdies in a four-hole stretch to start the back nine and was within shot of the lead as everyone behind him on the course appeared to stall.
One shot changed everything. Woods couldn't commit to a swing with his driver on the par-5 16th hole and sent it far and left -- way left -- over a fence and out-of-bounds, sending him to a bogey when he couldn't afford anything less than birdie.
He finished bogey-bogey-par for a 3-under 69 and tumbled down the leaderboard into a tie for fifth.