ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tyrrell Hatton went from losing his mind to winning the tournament.
Bay Hill served up the most demanding test this side of a major, and Hatton kept it together down the stretch Sunday by playing bogey-free over the last seven holes for a 2-over 74 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
It was his fifth victory worldwide, and first on the PGA Tour, and it came in just his second start since returning from surgery on his right wrist during the offseason.
But the 28-year-old Englishman could only smile when he tapped in a 3-foot par putt on the 18th for a one-shot victory over Marc Leishman, one of the few players who kept moving forward — barely — on another day of blustery, brittle conditions at Bay Hill.
Hatton finished at 4-under 284, one of only four players who beat par for the week, the fewest at Bay Hill since 1980. So severe was the course that Matt Fitzpatrick closed with a 69, the only player to break 70 on the weekend.
Rory McIlroy, one shot behind going into the final round, had a 76 for his highest closing round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since a 76 in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. He still tied for fifth, his eighth consecutive finish in the top five worldwide dating to September.
Sungjae Im, trying to become the first player since David Duval in 1997 to win his first two PGA Tour titles in consecutive weeks, closed with a 73 to finish third.
The scoring average Sunday was 75.06, the toughest final round at Bay Hill since 1983. Hatton’s 284 was the highest score to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational since it began in 1979.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Ernie Els won the Hoag Classic for his first PGA Tour Champions title, birdieing par-5 15th and 18th holes for a two-stroke victory at Newport Beach Country Club.
Making his third senior start, the 50-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 16-under 197. He opened with a 66 and shot 64 on Saturday.
Els lost a playoff to Miguel Angel Jimenez in his debut in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii, then tied for 34th last week in the Cologuard Classic in Arizona.
Fellow Hall of Famer Fred Couples, trying to win the event from the third time at age 60, finished with a 66 to tie for second with Glen Day and Robert Karlsson.
Couples, also part of the playoff in Hawaii, parred the final six holes, chunking a chip on 18 to squander a good birdie try.
Day birdied Nos. 14-17 to take the lead at 15 under, then bogeyed the 18th for a 64. Karlsson bogeyed the 16th and parred the last two in a 66.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Jorge Campillo lost a two-shot lead with three holes to play, stayed alive with two long birdie putts in a playoff and won on the fifth extra hole to beat David Drysdale in the Qatar Masters.
On the sixth time playing the 18th hole for the day, Campillo rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt and raised his arm. Victory was not assured until Drysdale’s 18-foot putt to extend the playoff missed to the left.
It looked like a certain victory when he stepped to the 16th hole, two shots clear of Jeff Winther and three ahead of Drysdale, the 44-year-old Scot still looking for his first European Tour victory. But he made bogey and then a double bogey, closed with a 1-over 72 and wound up in a playoff with Drysdale, who shot 71. They finished at 13-under 271.
Campillo made a 30-foot birdie and a 25-foot birdie in the first two playoff holes with Drysdale in tight. After they exchanged pars on the 18th twice, Campillo won it with his 20-footer.
California native Trevor Simsby made a 4-foot birdie on the second playoff hole to win the Bandar Malaysia Open over Andrew Dodt and Jarin Todd. It was the first Asian Tour victory for Simsby, who earned his card through Asia’s developmental tour last year. … Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha won the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Estrella del Mar Open in Mazatlan, Mexico. He closed with a 10-under 62 for a 29-under 259 total and a three-shot victory. … Janie Jackson won the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic by eight strokes for her first Symetra Tour title. The former Alabama player closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 10-under 206 at the Country Club of Winter Haven.
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