The last roars are for Rory McIlroy at Bay Hill

PGA Tour 2018: Final results for Arnold Palmer Invitational (Rory McIlroy winner)

Rory McIlroy wins Arnold Palmer Invitational as Tiger Woods finishes fifth

Arnie's place was a fitting location for McIlroy to get his first win in 539 days, as his last victory came at the Tour Championship in 2016 - the day of Arnold Palmer's passing.

If he can just be average with the driver as far as accuracy, he is going to win because the rest of his game is so solid.

"Something clicked into place with my game and obviously something clicked into place in my putting and this is the result".

McIlroy arrived in Orlando with plenty of concern over the state of his game having missed the cut in two of his four PGA Tour starts this year with his best result a tie for 20th.

The Northern Irishman's 18-under total left DeChambeau (68) in his wake at 15 under, while in-form Englishman Justin Rose (67) was a shot back in solo third.

"I've seen Tiger make that enough times to know what it does so I just wanted to try and emulate that", McIlroy said following his three-shot victory over Bryson DeChambeau.

Woods, meanwhile, was within one shot of the lead at a point on the back nine but ended up finishing eight back of McIlroy after a bogey at the 16th hole, where his tee shot flew out of bounds.

"I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him", said the four-time major victor who's a favorite to capture his first green jacket in two weeks at the Masters, "but I'm so happy to put my name on that trophy".

After a tense afternoon at Bay Hill Golf Club, McIlroy had looked poised for an uneventful finish when he stepped onto the 18th tee with a three-shot lead.

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McIlroy stormed home with four consecutive birdies starting at the 13th, before draining a 24-foot birdie putt on 18 - prompting an emotional fist pump.

"Freed up my head more than my stroke", said McIlroy, who moved up to No. 7 in the world.

DeChambeau sank a 15-foot eagle putt to pull one stroke behind McIlroy only to have the European star sink a 25-footer for birdie, raising his arms in victory.

"Just to be able to create my own little bit of history at the 18th green here is pretty special and I'm just really proud of myself to have hung in there over the last few months".

Of his approach at 16, McIlroy added, "This was massive, probably the best drive I hit all week".

Decked out in his familiar final round red, Woods mixed six birdies with a single bogey through his opening 13 holes but watched his charge fizzle with back-to-back bogeys at 16 and 17. The 14-time major champion still continues to impress in a comeback that looks far more promising that the previous ones.

"To be able to chip in, that was a bonus and gave me a little leeway going into the last few holes", McIlroy said.

"I sort of felt like maybe [I was] complicating things a bit and thinking a little bit too much about it and maybe a little bogged down by technical or mechanical thoughts".

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