By E. Michael Johnson
Tyrrell Hatton. Photo by Golffile
Tyrrell Hatton won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on a brutally difficult Bay Hill course not so much by beating the field, but by surviving the conditions well enough to win by one over Marc Leishman.
With winds gusting in around 25 miles per hour and the breeze steady throughout Sunday’s final round, Hatton overcame a significant misstep on the par-4 11th hole when he drove into the water hazard and made a double bogey just as it looked he might put things away. Instead, the two dropped shots brought a number of players back into contention, necessitating Hatton to par in the rest of the way—not an easy chore given the conditions.
Hatton, however, was up to the task. Earlier in his round he made two key birdies with a tee shot on the long par-3 seventh to a couple of feet and following with another solid iron at the par-4 eighth to nine feet that he also converted. Coming in, a nifty sand save at the 16th kept Leishman a shot behind. Coming in Hatton stepped up and struck a solid 5-iron to the green at the par-3 17th and then another well-struck iron into the final hole to secure his first PGA Tour win.
Hatton’s irons are Ping’s i210—a relatively forgiving players iron. The shafts are Nippon Modus 3 Tour 120X and the grips are Golf Pride’s MCC Blue/Black. The irons are a quarter-inch short and bent slightly strong. For the week Hatton ranked second in strokes gained/approach the green, picking up more than seven shots on the field.
Which when you win by one is pretty darn important.
What Tyrrell Hatton had in the bag at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Ping G410 Plus (Mitsubishi Diamana RF 60-TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max, 15 degrees
7-wood: Ping G410, 20.5 degrees
Irons (4-PW): Ping i210
Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (50 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM8 (54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping Vault Oslo