Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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Horses for Courses: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

2020: Tyrrell Hatton (-4, 284)

Picked up his first TOUR win in his 60th start as he won by one. … Didn’t break 73 on the weekend but won by a shot. … Led by two after Saturday, his first 54-hole lead on TOUR. … Shared the 36-hole lead for the first time on TOUR. … Entered the week leading the TOUR in Strokes-Gained: Approach the Green. … Becomes the fifth consecutive international champion. … Of the last 15 victors, nine are internationals. … Fifth consecutive winner T4 or better Par-3 scoring. … First Englishman to win. … First on TOUR since Geoff Ogilvy (2006 U.S. Open) to play BOTH rounds on the weekend over-par and win. … Won in his fourth attempt. … T6 in his previous start on TOUR (WGC-Mexico Championship). … Picked up T4 in his debut here in 2017.

Notables:

2107 champ Marc Leishman (2nd) beat Hatton by a shot on Sunday. … Sungjae Im (3rd) winner the previous week at Honda bettered his 2019 debut (T3). … Bryson DeChambeau (4th) was the only other player under-par for the week. … Joel Dahmen (T5) MC in perfect weather in 2019. … Danny Lee (T5) cashed his best finish in his eighth start. … 2018 winner Rory McIlroy (T5) began the final round just two back but signed for 76. … Keith Mitchell (T5) cashed his second consecutive T6 paycheck. … 2019 runner-up Matthew Fitzpatrick (T9) was the only player on THE WEEKEND to post a number in the 60s (69). … Sung Kang (T9) shared the 36 hole lead before 78-74 on the weekend. … Harris English (T9) cashed his best payday in his ninth start. … Only 10 rounds under par on Sunday. … 2016 winner Jason Day (WD) is one of two players (Fred Couples) to go wire-to-wire. … The last champion to defend, Matt Every 2014-15, opened with 65 to lead after Round 1 but shot 83 (MC) in Round 2. … Hardest course on TOUR in 2020, including majors, as it played 2.106 shots over par. … Saturday played 3.913 shots over par. … Wind gusts played havoc all week, just four bogey-free rounds.

2019: Francesco Molinari (-12, 276)

Closed with bogey-free 64 to win by two. … Sat five back after 54 holes. … Posted the low round of the week in Round 4. … Won in his seventh attempt. … Never MC in seven tries. … Led the field Strokes-Gained: Off the Tee. … 51-under lifetime at Bay Hill. … Made an ace in Round 1. … Only made two bogeys on the weekend. … Picked up his third win in last 12 TOUR starts.

Notables:

Matthew Fitzpatrick (2nd) led by one after 54 holes and was the first round leader in 2017. … Tommy Fleetwood (T3) was the 36-hole co-leader by four. … Sungjae Im (T3) posted all four rounds under-par on debut. … Sung Kang (T6) picked up his first of two consecutive top 10 finishes. … Rory McIlroy (T6) began Round 4 just one back. … Keith Mitchell (T6) won The Honda Classic the previous week and led the field in birdies with 21. … Englishman Matt Wallace (T6) posted all four rounds in the red on debut. … Byeong Hun-An (T10) improved on T14 from 2018. … Luke List (T10) backed up his T7 from 2018. … Adam Long (T10) played the weekend 69-67 on debut. … Cut was 1-over 145. … Wind didn’t factor. … Only nine bogey free rounds.

2018: Rory McIlroy (-18, 270)

Started the two year trend of posting bogey-free 64 on Sunday. … Won by three for his 14th TOUR victory. … Began the final round two back. … Posted his career best Strokes-Gained: Putting. … Only needed 100 putts. … 54 from 54 inside seven feet. … Won in his fourth attempt. … Best US result entering the week was T20. … MC week prior at Valspar. … On a Bay Hill run of T6 or better in his last four visits.

Notables:

Bryson DeChambeau (2nd) shared the 36-hole lead and played in the final group. … Justin Rose (3rd) led the field with 24 birdies. … Orlando resident Henrik Stenson (4th) led or co-led after 18, 36 and 54 holes. … 2017 winner Marc Leishman (T7) closed with 67 in his defense. … Patrick Reed (T7) posted 22 birdies, T2 behind Rose. … Patrick Rodgers (T7) closed 68-69. … Played the easiest of the three years at 72.023. … 14 bogey free rounds. … Talor Gooch (T26) and Aaron Wise (T41) both opened with 65 on their debuts. … Last first-timer to win here was Matt Every in 2014. … Cut was 1-over 145.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
* – Top 10 finish here since 2016

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