Molinari withdraws from Bay Hill with back injury
Defending champion of Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard forced to WD
March 05, 2020
By The Associated Press
- March 05, 2020
- Francesco Molinari is the defending champion at Bay Hill. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Defending champion Francesco Molinari withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard on Thursday because of a back injury.
Molinari shot 64 in the final round last year at Bay Hill for a two-shot victory, his eighth title worldwide. He reached the semifinals of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play a few weeks later, and then had a two-shot lead with seven holes to play in the Masters when he twice hit into the water and Tiger Woods rallied to win.
The Italian has not won since Bay Hill, and he has said on more than one occasion that the Masters took a lot out of him.
Molinari was scheduled to play Thursday morning with Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. He was replaced in the 120-man field by Kyoung-Hoon Lee. Lee and his wife were involved in a minor car accident on Wednesday. While he is battling soreness, he teed it up for his first Arnold Palmer Invitational start.