Arnold Palmer Invitational: Scottie Scheffler clinches second PGA Tour title | Rory McIlroy finishes one-over-par | Golf News

Scottie Scheffler’s final-day round of 72 clinched glory at Bay Hill, following on from last month’s Phoenix Open triumph; Rory McIlroy had been in contention, but shot four-over-par in his final round and finished tied for 13th

Last Updated: 06/03/22 11:39pm


Scottie Scheffler claimed victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Scottie Scheffler claimed his second victory in three PGA Tour events as an even-par round of 72 proved enough to see him win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 25-year-old, who claimed his first Tour title in a play-off at the WM Phoenix Open last month, finished on a five-under-par total of 283, one shot clear of a three-way tie for second.

Rory McIlroy had been in contention for the title at Bay Hill heading into the final day, but endured a tough round after shooting a four-over-par 76 and finishing tied for 13th.

“It feels great, especially to win on such a difficult golf course and the way it finished,” Scheffler, who is now set to move up to No 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings, told Sky Sports.

“I didn’t play my best stuff, I just kept grinding and made some key putts down the stretch, and it was really just a fight all day.

“I’m really proud of how I stayed patient, Teddy [Scott, Scheffler’s caddie] did a good job of trying to keep me in it and it was a good result.”

Scottie Scheffler says Bay Hill played incredibly difficult on the final round and he needed to grind all day to keep in contention

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Scottie Scheffler says Bay Hill played incredibly difficult on the final round and he needed to grind all day to keep in contention

Scottie Scheffler says Bay Hill played incredibly difficult on the final round and he needed to grind all day to keep in contention

Billy Horschel was the last player with a shot at catching Scheffler but had to sink a 30-foot birdie putt on the last hole which never really had a chance. In the end, he shot 75 and tied for second along with Tyrrell Hatton (69) and Viktor Hovland (74).

Hovland was still tied for the lead until catching a plugged lie in the front bunker on the 17th and having to two-putt from 50 feet on the fringe for bogey. Needing a birdie on the last hole to catch Scheffler, with whom he was playing alongside, the Norwegian missed from 18 feet.

Hatton, who won at Bay Hill two years ago, somehow managed seven birdies on a course that was baked and brittle, with greens running about 14 on the Stimpmeter and so few blades of grass that putts were sliding as much as they were rolling. He finished more than an hour ahead of the leaders, and it looked as though his score might be enough to at least force a play-off.

Former winner Tyrrell Hatton finished tied for second at Bay Hill

Former winner Tyrrell Hatton finished tied for second at Bay Hill

Scheffler, however, was simply tough as nails. He was in deep trouble on the 15th, in the pine straw and behind a tree, when he tried to hit a punch hook up the fairway. The ball dribbled out into thick rough, but he did well to get his third onto the front of the green and then made a 20-footer for par.

On the par-five 16th, Scheffler caught a terrible break when his drive hopped out of the hand and into a lie so awkward in thick grass that he could not get it back to the fairway. Then, he had to lay up to avoid going into the water. He hit wedge to six feet and saved par.

His final two holes, not nearly as theatrical, were no less important. Scheffler two-putted from 45 feet, the ball coming within inches of going in, for par on the 17th. And from deep rough left of the 18th fairway, he got it onto the green to just inside 70 feet. That putt stopped inches away, leaving a tap-in par and ultimately a big win at Arnie’s place.

Leader Gary Woodland's mishit bunker shot led to a double bogey and a slide down the leaderboard with just two holes to go at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Leader Gary Woodland’s mishit bunker shot led to a double bogey and a slide down the leaderboard with just two holes to go at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Leader Gary Woodland’s mishit bunker shot led to a double bogey and a slide down the leaderboard with just two holes to go at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

The real heartbreak went to Gary Woodland, trying to win for the first time since the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2019. Steady all day, he surged into the lead with a shot from a sandy lie, around the trees and onto the green at the 16th, where he made a 25-foot eagle putt.

But on the 17th, he took two shots to get out of a front bunker and then missed a five-foot putt, taking double bogey. He found the left rough off the 18th and closed with a bogey for a 73 to finish in a tie for fifth with Chris Kirk.

Kirk was right there with a chance at five-under with a birdie on the 13th. He three-putted the 14th for the first of two straight birdies and closed with three pars for a 72.

The consolation prize for Kirk was earning one of three spots available for the Open Championship at St Andrews this summer. Gooch salvaged his rough start with a bogey-free back nine to finish in the top 10 and earn his spot in the Open.

Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill

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Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill

McIlroy, meanwhile, endured a frustrating afternoon which was encapsulated by him snapping a club after a loose chip-shot on the 12th hole and is now turning his focus to the upcoming Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

“Three years in a row it’s sort of been start off, lead the golf tournament, then you just sort of regress and come back to the field each and every day,” McIlroy said. “It’s frustrating, it’s hard to keep your patience out there.

“I’m certainly playing better than shooting eight-over over the weekend. It’s just a matter of trying to regroup and forget about this week, and next week’s going to be a completely different test.”

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