For the second year in a row, the weather for the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational made scoring difficult while producing an exciting finish to the tournament. The skies were clear, but the 15- to 20-mile-per-hour winds dried out the course and created fast and firm conditions.
The Bay Hill Club and Lodge has been hosting the tournament since 1979, and over half of the winners have been major champions. That trend continued on Sunday as Bryson DeChambeau managed to par his final 12 holes on the way to a one-stroke victory over 47-year-old Englishman Lee Westwood. He completed the tournament at 11-under-par after entering the tournament in third place in futures odds of +1300.
The key shot on his way to the win was a 48-foot par putt on the 11th hole after DeChambeau extricated himself from a nasty lie in a greenside bunker. He closed out the victory with a four-foot putt on the 72nd hole for his eighth PGA TOUR win.
DeChambeau opened the tournament with a 5-under-par 67, one shot behind Rory McIlroy and Corey Conners. A second-round 71 left him three strokes behind Conners entering the weekend, then DeChambeau fired a 68 on Saturday to get within a shot of third-round leader Westwood.
After opening his final round with a bogey, the reigning U.S. Open champion birdied the two front-nine par 5s to get to 11-under-par and assumed the lead when Westwood bogeyed the seventh hole. Westwood birdied the par-5 12th hole to pull even, but a missed six-footer on the par-3 14th hole gave DeChambeau a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
The win earned the player they call “The Mad Scientist” because of the way he uses his physics degree from SMU to maximize distance, a paycheck of $1,674,000 and 550 FedEx Cup points. DeChambeau moved to the top of the FedEx Cup standings as he heads to this week’s Players Championship.
Bryson DeChambeau managed to par his final 12 holes on the way to a one-stroke victory over 47-year-old Englishman Lee Westwood. He completed the tournament at 11-under-par after entering the tournament in third place in futures odds of +1300.
Other Results from Bay Hill
The odds leader in futures betting was Rory McIlroy at +900, and he remained in contention through two rounds. A poor putting performance in Saturday’s third-round 72 and two balls in the water during Sunday’s sixth hole resulted in a final-round 76 and a 10th-place tie at 3-under 285.
Viktor Hovland, the second odds favorite at +1200, was two shots off the lead in third place after opening with rounds of 69 and 68, but he totally fell apart on the weekend. He followed up a 5-over-par 77 with a closing 78 to fall into a tie for 49th at 4-over 292.
After shooting a dismal 77 on Thursday, defending champion Tyrell Hatton (+1800) rebounded with a 67 and a 66 to creep back into contention at 6-under-par. His final-round 77 dropped him into a tie for 21st at 1-under-par 287.
Jordan Spieth (+3000) once again found himself near the top of the leaderboard on the weekend but again failed to get his first win since the 2017 Open Championship. His closing round of 75 left him at 6-under-par for the tournament and tied for fourth.