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By : BGA Proshop
Bryson DeChambeau wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a clutch par putt on the 18th hole.
In an epic battle with runner up Lee Westwood, the pair were never separated by more than one shot over the final 15 holes, a dual that came down to the last 5 foot putt of the tournament.
Westwood, at 47, was the oldest player in the last 2 years to hold the 54 hole lead in a PGA Tour event. He started Sunday with a one shot lead over DeChambeau and a two shot lead over Jordan Spieth, who showed in recent times that his game was back on track.
DeChambeau round of 71 and a one shot victory over Westwood matched the low score of the day, one of only three rounds under par in the toughest final round at Bay Hill in 41 years.
At one stage there was a four way tie for the lead after Spieth made birdie on the 6th hole but for the second straight day, DeChambeau got the crowds going as the smashed driver over the lake on the 6th . It was a par 5 565 yard hole with water hugging the whole left side, almost shaped like a quarter moon. For the long hitters you could take on the lake and take a direct line to the hole. To carry the water and to the hole would be 390 yards and DeChambeau, one of the longest hitters on tour carried it 320 on Sunday leaving him 88 yards to the hole.
Both DeChambeau and Westwood made birdies and from there both men traded blows all the way to the end. Westwood who bogeyed the next hole gave the lead back but birdied the 12th to join DeChambeau. His bogey on 14th cost him the tournament as DeChambeau parred in from the 7th hole.
“It’s amazing to win Mr. Palmer’s tournament – it’s going to make me cry,” DeChambeau said. “He’s had an influence on me for the longest time and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.”
DeChambeau slipped on the XL red cardigan the winner receives – “It barely fits,” he said – and referenced Palmer and Woods and how proud he was to wear it.
“When I got that text, I’m like, wow, that’s pretty amazing that he is thinking of me when he’s in his tough times that he’s going through right now,” DeChambeau said of Woods, who is recovering in a Los Angeles hospital following a horrific single-vehicle rollover crash that left him with serious, multiple injuries in his right leg, ankle and foot.
“So I just texted him, I said, ‘Keep moving forward, keep going forward. You’re going to get through it. You’re the hardest working person I’ve ever met and you’ll persevere through this pretty much.’ One of the things that we talked about was, it’s not about how many times you get kicked to the curb or knocked down. It’s about how many times you can get back up and keep moving forward.
“And I think this red cardigan is not only for Mr. Palmer, but I would say it’s a little bit for Tiger as well, knowing hat place he’s in right now.”