Rory McIlroy finishes on positive note at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy watches his putt on the first green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando
Rory McIlroy watches his putt on the first green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando

World number one Rory McIlroy ended his last competitive outing before the Masters on a positive note at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the four-time major winner making a birdie on the 18th in a closing 70 to finish 11 under par.

McIlroy will attempt to become just the sixth player to complete the career grand slam by claiming a first green jacket at Augusta in April.

Ryder Cup star Henrik Stenson saw a two-shot lead turned into a one-shot deficit midway through the final round on Sunday.

Stenson played the front nine at Bay Hill in one under par but was overtaken by an inspired Morgan Hoffmann, the American surging to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies in the first eight holes.

The final pairing were both two under par through the first four holes before a two-shot swing on the fifth, where Stenson three-putted and Hoffmann holed from five feet for birdie to draw level.

Hoffmann then birdied the sixth and eighth from close range to move two ahead, before dropping his first shot of the day following a wayward approach to the ninth.

That left the 25-year-old on 18 under par, one shot ahead of Stenson and defending champion Matt Every, who had bogeyed the first but responded with five birdies in the next nine holes.

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson had set the clubhouse target on 12 under thanks to the second albatross in tournament history in the space of two days.

Johnson holed his second shot to the 16th with a five iron from 207 yards, 24 hours after Daniel Berger had holed his approach to the sixth from 240.

“It was five to 10 yards left of where I was trying to land it but obviously you get some good and bad bounces and that was a good one,” Johnson told Sky Sports 4 after bogeys at the last two holes in a 66. “It’s my first in competition so I will take it.”

There was not such good news for fellow American Brooks Koepka, who earlier withdrew from the final round after 11 holes due to a dislocated rib.

Koepka picked up the injury on the range on Friday but was able to play and shot 66, but said he felt unable to breathe during Saturday’s round of 74, during which time he twice had the rib popped back into place