In the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tyrrell Hatton sealed the first English win and his maiden PGA Tour title with an eventful one-shot victory at Bay Hill.
His two-stroke overnight advantage had gone on lightning-fast greens in the first five holes after two bogeys.
Hatton, 28, also had a double bogey in a two-over 74 but finished four under, one ahead of Marc Leishman, who won in 2017.
Joint second at the beginning of the day, Rory McIlroy had two double bogeys in a 76, and was four back in fourth. “That was such a difficult day,”
Hatton said. “After the double on 11 I thought I’d played my way out of it because I didn’t see the scoreboard.”
“That putt at 18 – I have never been so nervous. I won’t ever forget this week.”
After the first round on Thursday, there were 44 players under par but only four by the end of the tournament.
Saturday’s average score of 75.91 was the highest of any round at Bay Hill since 1983 – with just one player under par – and since 2014 it was the first non-major not to have a round in the 60s.
Due to more swirling winds and rock-hard putting surfaces, the conditions were equally difficult for Sunday’s final round and Hatton lost a shot to his opening hole after hitting a fairway bunker.
Playing partner Leishman, two shots back overnight alongside 2018 winner McIlroy, saw his effort tested at the third by a double bogey after he had found water with his drive.
McIlroy holed a fine putt from the edge of the green to lose just one shot in the fifth but then thinned one out of a fairway bunker onto the next rock and ran up a double bogey to drop two shots off the lead.
A drive out of bounds led to another double bogey at the ninth and reduced him to even par for the tournament, at which time after a brilliant tee shot at the 195-yard par three seventh, Hatton was ahead again.
With a second successive birdie, the Englishman pushed two clear of the field but after hitting the water with his drive at the 11th he careered through the green and made a double bogey to slip back into a tie with Sungjae Im at the top.
Remarkably Im, last week’s Honda Classic winner, then made his own double bogey after finding water with his 13th and world number 32 approach, Hatton managed to break his way into an unforgettable victory, picking up the title from two feet.
Tyrrell Hatton WITB 2020
Driver: Ping G410 Plus (8.4°, Mitsubishi Diamana RF 60-TX shaft)
Fairway woods: TaylorMade SIM Max (15.7°, Diamana fw limited 70 shaft); Ping G410 (20.5°, Graphite Design Tour AD TP 8X shaft)
Irons: Ping i210, (4-PW, Nippon Modus 3 Tour 120 X shafts)
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50°), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Raw (54°, 60°, all True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
Putter: Ping Vault Oslo
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x