ORLANDO, Fla. – Tyrrell Hatton’s quest for a second cardigan sweater came up a shot short, but the Englishman certainly made his week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational entertaining.
The 2020 champion at Bay Hill opened with rounds of 69-68 to move into second place but a third-round 78 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard and, presumably, out of contention.
Following an eventful opening nine on Sunday (a three-birdie, three-bogey effort) Hatton moved back into the hunt on a brutally demanding day with three birdies through his first four holes on the second nine for a closing 69 that was 6 ½ shots better than the final-round average.
“I was at nine more shots yesterday, so I'd say that's more draining,” he said. “When you're kind of coming down the stretch, you know you're getting closer to the lead, and you see cameras start appearing so you know you're doing something right.”
He didn’t expect much to go right Sunday at Bay Hill based on his warmup which he called “shocking.”
“With the second driver I hit [on the range], I think I missed the ninth fairway left from the driving range,” he laughed. “I didn't shout fore out of pure embarrassment that no one on a driving range should ever have to shout fore. That kind of shows you how bad it was.”
Hatton said he was able to turn around his swing fortunes with a simple thought: “Making sure the weight was in the middle of my foot on the backswing,” he said.