Tyrrell Hatton wins Arnold Palmer event by one

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

Shoes: Adidas

Patrick Reed seals a one-shot victory

Patrick Reed carded a four-under 67 to win the WGC-Mexico Championship. Joint second overnight the 29-year-old world number 14 could afford to bogey the last as he finished 18 under, one ahead of compatriot Bryson DeChambeau who had serious putting woes.

World number four Justin Thomas, one ahead at the beginning of the final day, fell to a 73 on a sixth share.

Jon Rahm’s 67 left him with three third-place adrift, with Rory McIlroy’s world number one shot back after a 68.

Following nine birdies and a hole in one in a course record 61 on Saturday, Rahm birded four of the first five holes to take a share of the lead and then managed to rescue par when his second shot found the water in the sixth.

In comparison Thomas, looking for his 13th PGA win, saw his tee shot flip off a tree into the water at the par-three seventh and fell out of the lead when another shot went to the next after his drive was 80 yards off target.

His ball then ended behind the base of a tree causing him to play left-handed, and while finding a way back to the fairway through the trees, a double bogey resulted.

With other leading players struggling to catch the momentum, DeChambeau, playing with Rahm and McIlroy in the penultimate group made seven birdies from sixth in nine holes to pull two clear.

The illustrious Rahm and McIlroy were only able to play back nine in level par, but the ever-tenacious Reed made two birdies to reduce the gap to one and was tied for the lead when DeChambeau left himself at 17th 63 feet away, which resulted in a 3-putt.

With a low sun creating visibility issues at the Chapultepec Golf Club, Reed produced a birdie on 16 and took the lead.

DeChambeau, who led after two rounds, missed a 19-foot birdie chance at the last to finish with a 65 for 17 under, with Reed rattling in a long putt at the 17th in a third successive birdie.

There was still time for suspense when Reed shot it back into the woods, taking an iron off the tee at the final hole, but reached the green in three and comfortably two putted for a five to add a second WGC title to his 2018 Masters win.

Patrick Reed WITB 2020

Driver: Ping G400 LST, (9° Fujikura Ventus Black 70X shaft)

3-wood: TaylorMade M6, (15° Aldila Rogue Silver 125 80 TX shaft)

Hybrid: Callaway Apex, (18° Aldila RIP Phenom 100X shaft)

Driving iron: Titleist T100, (3-iron, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue AMT X100 shaft)

Irons: Grindworks Reed Prototype blades (4-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)

Wedges: Artisan Prototype, (51°), Titleist Vokey SM7 (56° & 60° True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Shoes: Nike

Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott is triumphant as Rory McIlroy falls three shots behind

Genesis Invitational final leaderboard:

-11 A Scott (Aus); -9 S Brown (US), K Sung-hoon (Kor), M Kuchar (US); -8 H Matsuyama (Jpn), R McIlroy (NI), J Dahmen (US), B DeChambeau (US), M Homa (US)

Selected others:-7 D Johnson (US); -5 J Rahm (Spa); -2 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -1 S Garcia (Spa), P Casey (Eng); E M Laird (Sco), B Koepka (US); +3 J Rose (Eng); +11 T Woods (US)

Australian Adam Scott has captured the Genesis Invitational as world number one Rory McIlroy slipped off the pace by three shots. The Northern Irishman was in a three-way tie for the lead heading to Riviera’s final round, but a two-over 73 saw him finish eight below par.

Scott carded a one-under-par 70 to win by two from South Korea’s Sung-hoon Kang and Americans Matt Kuchar and Scott Brown. Tiger Woods finished 22 shots back, last of those making the cut.

“It’s a very special win this week,” said former world number one Scott, 39. “They’re not coming easy for me these days so I’m going to savour this one.

“It’s a great way to start [2020]. This has to be my year. I can’t afford to let the next 10 years slip away. I have to make it happen now.”

Victory marked Scott’s first PGA Tour title since 2016 but on the par 4 fifth he had to overcome a double bogey six, the same hole McIlroy struck a triple bogey on.

He followed that with three birdies, all but sealing the win onto the penultimate hole with one from 10 feet, before parring the last to finish on 11 under. But McIlroy never recovered from his slip-up, bogeying two more holes to finish fifth tied.

“Definitely the toughest day of the week,” said the 30-year-old world number one. “The wind was up, hole locations were sort of tricky spots, the course was firming up again. Everyone was finding it tough out there.”

Adam Scott WITB 2020

Driver: Titleist TS4, (10.5°), Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 X

Fairway: Titleist TS2, (16.5°), Fujikura Rombax P95

Driving iron: Titleist 716 T-MB, (3-iron), KBS Tour

Irons: Titleist 680 Forged MB, (4-9), KBS Tour 130X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, (48°, 52°, 56° and 60°), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Xperimental Prototype Rev X11

Golf ball: Titleist Pro V1

Shoes: FootJoy

Would you like to get fitted for Adam Scott’s clubs? Visit this link

Nick Taylor seals Pebble Beach four-shot victory, Phil Mickelson third

Canadian Nick Taylor claimed a four-shot victory at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his second PGA Tour title. The world number 229, 31-year-old, started round four one ahead of Phil Mickelson and finished with a total of 19 under.

He holed to eagle the sixth from a bunker and overcame a double bogey on the 14th to post a two-under 70. Mickelson, trying to tie the 45 PGA wins of Walter Hagen, birded out three of the first six holes but fell to a 74 and ended five shots back in third.

Taylor’s only career PGA Tour win came at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014.

“To do it in that fashion, playing with Phil, gives me a lot of confidence going forward” said Taylor, who led the tournament all four days.

Rory McIlroy overtakes Brooks Koepka as No. 1

Brooks Koepka discounted the notion of a budding rivalry between him an Rory McIlroy last fall.  “I’m not looking at anybody behind me,” Koepka said at the CJ Cup. “I’m No. 1 in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me … I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry.”

Although neither of them were in play this week, on Monday the Ulsterman passed Koepka for the top spot in the World Rankings. Koepka’s reign ends at 38 weeks after winning the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May, retaining the No. 1 spot.

This is the eighth time that McIlroy has had with the crown of the OWGR, but first since 19 Sept 2015.

“I’ve been out here for, what, five years,” Koepka explained. “Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour.”

That reminds us, in 59 days, the Masters begin.

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Play-off: Webb Simpson defeats Tony Finau

Webb Simpson birded the last two holes to secure the Phoenix Open in Arizona, before defeating Tony Finau in a play-off. The 34-year-old American two-putted on the 17th from 50 feet and then holed a 17-footer on the last, while Finau missed an 8-foot putt to win.

That left the players tied at 17 under and at the first extra hole, Simpson won his sixth PGA Tour title with another 10-foot birdie putt. “I didn’t have my best stuff but I hung in there,” said Simpson. “To come down to the last couple of holes and then birdie 18 twice feels great.”

Simpson began the final round one shot behind Finau and drew level on the fifth hole with a birdie. Nevertheless, he dropped a shot after hitting his drive into the water on the 15th to fall two behind with three to play.

American world number 13 Finau and Justin Thomas-who finished tied in third on 14 under-also wore Bryant’s jersey replicas on the 16th hole as the PGA Tour honoured the late Kobe Bryant by painting the numbers 8 and 24 on the approach of 16 green.   

The winning birdie run for Simpson started when he drove the green on the 17th par-four before finishing his first victory since the 2018 Players Championship with two more on the 18th as Finau flapped.

“It’s a bitter week as I look back on it,” said Finau. “But lots of stuff to be learned. “I had a chance, a great chance to win this week. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but my game’s better than it’s ever been.”

Webb Simpson WITB 2020

Driver: Titleist TS3, (10.5°), Mitsubishi Tensei Blue AV 65 TX

3 wood: Titleist TS2 (15°), Mitsubishi Tensei Blue CK 70TX, Titleist 913 (18°), UST Mamiya Proforce VTS 8TX

Hybrid: Titleist 913 (20°), Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X Hybrid, Titleist 915, (23.5°), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: Titleist 620 MB, (5-PW), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7, (54°), Titleist Vokey SM5, (60°), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Tank Cruiser V-Line

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Schedule your fitting for Webb’s clubs at this link

Marc Leishman defeats Jon Rahm at Torrey Pines

Australian Marc Leishman posted a 7-under 65 in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines to earn his fifth PGA Tour title with a one-shot victory.

The 36 year old was 4 back but he carded a blistering eight birdies on Sunday to end 15 under.

Leader Jon Rahm saw four shots go in his first five holes and he finished one behind, following a strong rebound to card a 70 but it wasn’t enough. 

Rory McIlroy started three behind and had a mixed 69 to finish T3 at 12 under, while Tiger Woods was 9 under.

Rahm had a one-shot lead overnight but made a miserable start, running up a double bogey at the par three third after his tee shot ended up in a ravine, short of the green.

The Spaniard had an eagle and three birdies from the 13th but the closing birdie from Leishman left Rahm needing an eagle at the last to force a play-off in California.

A fine fairway wood found the back of the green and left a line similar to his 60-foot putt from the fringe grass for an eagle to win the tournament three years ago.

However, this time the putt ended inches short as Leishman celebrated victory on Australia Day, emulating the win of compatriot Lucas Herbert at the Dubai Desert Classic of the European Tour.

McIlroy, who needed a win to get back to the top of the world rankings, lost three shots in his first four holes but improved in his next five with three birdies and an eagle, before combining two bogeys with three birdies on the back nine.

At the start of the final round, Woods was five off the lead in his attempt to become an overall top tournament winner for the PGA Tour.

His score 70 featured an amazing moment at the second hole when his second shot took one ounce and went straight in the hole, then reappeared a half second later and spun back out the hole. 

The 15-time major winner was told by caddie Joe la Cava coming off the 18th green of the death of his friend Kobe Bryant, the legendary basketball player killed in a helicopter crash across the state in Calabasas.