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ORLANDO, Fla. – With a Sunday 74 and seven straight pars to close the final round, Tyrrell Hatton outlasted the field to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by one over Marc Leishman. Here’s how Hatton came out on top at Bay Hill:
Leaderboard: Tyrrell Hatton (-4), Marc Leishman (-3), Sungjae Im (-2), Bryson DeChambeau (-1), Keith Mitchell (E), Joel Dahmen (E), Danny Lee (E), Rory McIlroy (E)
How it happened: Up two to start the final round, Hatton played his first 10 holes in even par and was three clear when he pulled driver at the par-4 11th and found the water en route to double bogey.
Conditions are brutal at Bay Hill. There has been only one round in the 60s since Round 2 ended.
Tyrrell Hatton makes double bogey on 11.
The lead is down to one. pic.twitter.com/WhmQsvkTCR
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 8, 2020
Up around the green, the temperamental Englishman was seen slamming his club, pretending to fire a shotgun and making an obscene gesture in the direction of the hazard.
Missed this the first time, but Tyrrell Hatton most certainly gave the pond on 11 the ol' shotgun blast. pic.twitter.com/dqwKbrG2ks
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) March 8, 2020
He nonetheless settled down enough to par his way into the clubhouse, closing out a final-round 74 and edging his playing partner Leishman by a stroke with a two-putt par at the last.
What it means: A four-time champion on the European Tour, this is Hatton’s first PGA Tour victory and his first win in the United States. A member of the victorious European Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in 2018, Hatton was already in inside the top 5 on the world points list and now appears to be a lock to once again represent Europe at Whistling Straits this fall. Given the API’s elevated status, Hatton is now the beneficiary of a three-year PGA Tour exemption, locking up membership through the 2022-23 season.
Best of the rest: Leishman (73) pulled within one of Hatton with birdie at 16 and nearly tied for the lead with a 35-foot birdie bid at 17. But the 2017 API winner left his approach into the 72nd hole 70 feet left of the back-right pin, settling for second. Separately, Im, vying for his second win in as many weeks, pulled into a tie for the lead at 4 under when he birdied the par-5 12th as Hatton was making a mess of 11. But one hole later, his approach to the par-4 13th would come up short in the water. A double there and another bogey at 15 effectively ended his chances. When an eagle bid at 16 wouldn’t go down, he finished birdie-par-par to sign for a 73 of his own and get in the house at 2 under.
Hatton ready to celebrate API title: ‘We’ll go as hard as we can tonight’
Biggest disappointment: Rory McIlroy’s top-5 streak has been extended to seven. Two back to start the day, the world No. 1 never contended, getting off to a disastrous start with a front-nine 40 that included a two doubles. He came home in even par to shoot a final-round 76 and tie for fifth at even par.
Round of the day: Matthew Fitzpatrick was the only player to break 70 over the weekend, finishing off a 3-under 69 while the leaders were still on the front nine. He was actually a bogey-free 5 under through 16 before finding the water at the par-3 17th and walking off with double. Still, a par at the home hole was good enough to advance him into a tie for ninth at 1 over par.
Open Qualifying Series: Lee, Dahmen and Mitchell are headed to Royal St. George’s via their respective finishes at Bay Hill. They were the top three players inside the top 10 who were not already qualified for the year’s final major. Sung Kang looked as though he was going to take the third and final stop away from Mitchell via tiebreaker but closed with back-to-back bogeys to finish 1 over for the week.