Day's day at Bay Hill
Jason Day goes wire-to-wire at Arnold Palmer Invitational
March 20, 2016
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day poses with the trophy following the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Here are a few observations following the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, where Jason Day shot 2-under 70 to win by one over Kevin Chappell on Sunday at Bay Hill. For more on all the action, click here to read the Daily Wrap-Up.
Day’s short game pays off.
Jason Day is one of the longest hitters in the game and one of its best ball-strikers. His short game doesn’t get the same attention.
He needed it Sunday at Bay Hill.
Day was just 4-for-7 scrambling in the final round, but two of his up-and-downs came on the back nine when the pressure was at its highest.
First, he saved par on the par-3 14th after leaving his tee shot on the 204-yard hole well short. Then, protecting a one-shot lead as he played out of the sand left of the 18 green and with water behind the flag, he thumped the ball out and watched as it trickled to 4 feet.
“I think my short game is one of my strengths,” he said. “I don't know if I'm overrated, underrated or par with that. But the only thing that I'm worried about is just winning as many times as I can and I know that if I have a good short game and I don't have the greatest stuff from the tee to green, it's going to save me like it did over the last two days.”
For the week, Day was 19-for-26 scrambling.
Said Day: “Under the circumstances to be able to hit the bunker shot on 18 goes to show how much I feel confident in my ability to hit that kind of a shot.”
Jason Day's epic up-and-down to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Chappell’s bogey on 18.
Kevin Chappell heard the roar from Jason Day’s birdie on 17 and it rattled him as he stood on the 18th tee.
The drive landed in the right rough, and the lie was horrible.
“There was no option,” said Chappell, who figured he needed to birdie the hole to even have a chance.
Instead, all he could do was lay up in the fairway. He tugged his wedge 20 feet left of the hole, two-putted for bogey and finished at 16 under for what was the fourth runner-up of his career.
“It's obviously those things one of many why (Jason Day has been) the No. 1 player in the world, why I'm the 150th player in the world,” Chappell said. “You just can't bogey the last when you're in contention, and hats off to Jason. He played well, real clutch down the stretch and I'll learn from this and I'll get better.”
Stenson comes up short again.
Last year, it was a pair of three-putts late on the back nine on Sunday that cost Henrik Stenson a chance to win at Bay Hill.
This year, it was his inability to get up-and-down for par on the par-3 14th and a ball into the water on the par-5 16th that stung.
“I never really felt a hundred percent with (my ballstriking) all week and when you got longer irons and winds and tough shots, if you don't feel like you can take one side out…I've had a bit of a two-way miss going all week,” said Stenson, who shot a 71 to finish three back. “Never builds confidence.”
Stenson’s results at Bay Hill the last four years, including this year: Third, second, fifth and eighth.
Troy Merritt's drains fourth birdie in a row at Arnold Palmer
Feast or famine for Merritt.
When Troy Merritt won last year, he did so off five straight missed cuts. Sunday, he had a chance to do so again, despite having missed the cut in five of his last six starts.
Then he made two double bogeys on the front nine. It looked like he’d blown it.
Until he rattled off five-straight birdies beginning on the 10th.
The wild ride continued on 18, though, when Merritt hit his approach into the water. Double bogey. He shot 71 and tied for third.
“Would have been nice to hit the tee shot on the face,” Merritt said of his tee shot on the last, which only went 276 yards and left him 190 into the green. “Hit it high off the toe. Didn't get it down there as far as I had the first three rounds. As a result we had a little downslope and 6-iron in. We're trying to hit at the middle of the green, let the 6-iron drift in there to 20 feet left…Hit it solid. Got eaten up once it got to the top. Came up 10 yards short. I wasn't shooting at the flag.”
Three holes costly for Scott.
Save for his play on three holes this week Adam Scott had a chance to become the only player in the last 35 years other than Tiger Woods to win three stops on the difficult Florida Swing.
Instead, the Aussie played the par-4 18th in a combined 5 over the last two days -- triple bogey on Saturday, double bogey Sunday after hitting his approach into the rocks. He also doubled the par-5 sixth on Friday.
Rather than finishing at 16 under, Scott ended the week at 9 under and tied for 12th.
“I mean shouldn't be that difficult but it is a little challenging, trying to stay out of your own way and manage your expectations,” Scott said after a 69 on Sunday. “It was a stressful couple weekends for me, I mean just trying to get it in the clubhouse at those golf courses is just brutal.
“I feel like I'm playing good enough to, so the competitiveness, I'm a little frustrated.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY'Just be yourself and stay in your world' and for some reason it just means so much more, you know, that you can do this and start your own legacy here. It gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me.
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Jason Day pitches in for birdie for the Shot of the Day
CALL OF THE DAY
BEST OF SOCIAL
Jason Day. Fit for The King. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ryml69EZOq— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 20, 2016
That winning feeling ... 💪🏆 pic.twitter.com/qL07fSkUn7— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 20, 2016
Jason Day now has 8 PGA TOUR wins.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 20, 2016
Thanks Mr. Palmer for a awesome week at Bay Hill @APinv!Thanks for everything you've done to grow the game of golf!— Zac Blair (@z_blair) March 21, 2016