Francesco Molinari made a move toward the top of the Official World Golf Ranking following his two-shot win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Molinari arrived at Bay Hill ranked 10th in the world, but after a final-round 64 earned him a trophy and a new sweater, the Italian is up three spots to No. 7. It’s two spots away from his career-best of fifth, achieved last September during the PGA Tour postseason.
Molinari wasn’t the only player to jump in the rankings with a big week in Orlando, as a solo second-place result helped Matthew Fitzpatrick move from No. 44 to No. 33 in the latest standings. Rafael Cabrera Bello went from 34th to 30th with his share of third place, while the same result vaulted Sungjae Im from 88th to 71st.
Keith Mitchell continues to play well at the right time, as his T-6 finish at Bay Hill earned him a spot in The Open. But it also helped him move from 68th to 58th in the rankings, all but assuring he’ll make his WGC debut later this month at the WGC-Dell Match Play. The top 64 players after The Players Championship will qualify for Austin, with Nos. 65 and down serving as alternates in the case of withdrawals.
News & Opinion
Molinari proves last summer was no fluke with Sunday charge at Bay Hill
By Will Gray
Francesco Molinari is continuing to play the best golf of his career at age 36. And his Sunday 64 that won him the Arnold Palmer Invitational proves last summer’s breakout was no fluke.
Other players near the bubble heading into the final week of qualification include No. 62 Lee Westwood, No. 64 Russell Knox, No. 65 Adam Hadwin, No. 73 Daniel Berger, No. 76 Danny Willett and No. 80 Zach Johnson.
Dustin Johnson remained world No. 1 for another week, with Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau rounding out the top five. Rory McIlroy remained in sixth, now followed by Molinari, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm.
Despite withdrawing from Bay Hill with a neck injury, Tiger Woods moved up one spot to No. 11 in the latest rankings as he gets set to make his competitive return this week at TPC Sawgrass.