2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard, grades: Scottie Scheffler edges loaded field for Bay Hill win

The four best fields that the PGA Tour has seen early in 2022 were the Phoenix Open, Tournament of Champions, Genesis Invitational and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Scottie Scheffler has now won two of those four tournaments after winning on Sunday at Bay Hill by a single stroke over Tyrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Billy Horschel.

Scheffler shot a 72 on Sunday to finish 5 under for the week in brutal conditions. The scoring average in the final round ballooned to 75.5, but Scheffler beat the field by over three strokes over the final 18 holes by playing bogey-free golf on the back nine. He also led the field in strokes gained on approach shots on the week, but it was his short game that saved him a handful of times coming home in the finale. He made two 20-footers and got up and down six of nine times in the thick Bay Hill rough to come out on top.

"It was great," said Scheffler. "I trusted myself and [caddie Ted Scott] as much as I have probably in any round. I did not swing the club well at all today off the tee. I was hitting a lot of bad spots, but I just kept grinding. I made some key putts towards the end and two great lie putts to finish off the round."

The most extraordinary of those came on the 15th hole where he pulled his drive way to the left and tried to hood his second around a tree but barely made contact at all. He then got up and down from 149 yards to save his par run to close out the tournament. It's his second victory in his last three starts and bumps him to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and likely into the top five in the world when the Players Championship starts next week.

Bay Hill checks in as the fourth-best field of 2022, just behind Phoenix (which Scheffler also won). These are big-boy wins that may not be majors but certainly aren't your average PGA Tour events, either.

Now Scheffler now has a couple of wins that are commensurate with the level at which he's been playing for a few years now. Statistically, Scheffler has been playing like a top-20 player since the start of 2020. Until Phoenix a few weeks ago, he had no trophies to show for it. That's golf sometimes. Winning can be (and often is) arbitrary, but now Scheffler has the titles to match his talent, and as a result, has become a bona fide star on the PGA Tour. Grade: A+

Here are the rest of our grades for the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Viktor Hovland (T2): I was convinced throughout the day on Sunday that Hovland was the guy. He seemed the most in control throughout the week and the most poised to pounce at the end. However, he made bogey on three of his last six holes, which ultimately sunk him. Paul Azinger pointed this out on the broadcast, but if you want to pin his runner-up on one aspect of his game, it's bunker play. He finished nearly last in the field in sand saves (3 of 13). The flip side of that? You know, not hitting it in the sand. That's extraordinarily difficult when pins are cut so close to the edges like they are at Bay Hill, but some combination of smarter shots and defter touch out of the bunkers will win him this tournament nine times out of 10. Grade: A-

Rory McIlroy (T13): After shooting 65 in Round 1, McIlroy could have dropped three straight 72s and won the tournament by two. He could only manage one before shooting 76-76 on the weekend when the field average was 74-75 to drop out of the top 10 at this event for the first time in the last five years. His iron play looked tremendous on Thursday but faded the rest of the week, and he had his first bad putting week of 2022. Regardless, he didn't seem too down afterward, and next week he'll be aiming for his second Players Championship in his last three tries.

"The way the conditions are, it makes you feel as if you're not playing as good as you are," said McIlroy. "Like, I'm playing good. I'm hitting good shots. I'm swinging the club well. I'm chipping well. I'm putting well. But it can knock your confidence whenever the conditions are like this. I'm certainly playing better than shooting 8 over over the weekend. It's just a matter of trying to regroup and forget about this week, and next week's going to be a completely different test." Grade: B+

Jon Rahm (T17): Rahm's finish outside the top 10 was his second in a row on the PGA Tour. That's happened just two other times since the 2020 Tour Championship, 18 months ago. That shows you the level at which he's been playing for the last two years. As for what to be concerned about as the Players (where he's contended before) approaches next week? His short game was awful at Bay Hill. That was obviously symbolized by his missed 10-inch putt on Thursday. He should be encouraged by a tee-to-green performance that was still elite (second in approach, fifth in driving), which should allow him to take some confidence into TPC Sawgrass despite the mediocre (for him) outcome in Orlando. Grade: B-

Rick Gehman, Mark Immelman and Kyle Porter recap Sunday's action at Bay Hill. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


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March 6, 2022, 10:59 PM
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Woodland finishes 3-5-5 to momentarily take the lead before dropping into a tie for third. What a roller coaster of a final three holes.

March 6, 2022, 10:35 PM
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Scheffler two-putts 17 and (probably) needs par at 18 for the win.

March 6, 2022, 10:26 PM
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Hovland makes bogey on No. 17 to gall back to -4, and for the moment Scheffler leads alone.

March 6, 2022, 10:25 PM
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The Woodland.

March 6, 2022, 10:20 PM
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March 6, 2022, 10:17 PM
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Whoa, Woodland pushes his putt on No. 15 and now has a putt for double. He'll drop out of the lead, which will again be shared by Scheffler and Hovland at -5.

March 6, 2022, 10:16 PM
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Now Woodland takes two out of the bunker as Hovland birdies 16 behind him. About to be all tied at -5 between Scheffler, Hovland and Woodland.

March 6, 2022, 10:13 PM
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Gary Woodland just got up and down from here (209 yards away) for eagle and the lead.

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March 6, 2022, 10:04 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:53 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:48 PM
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Tyrrell Hatton, who won here in 2020, finishes with a 3-under 69, and he's at 4 under overall now. He's the leader in the clubhouse and absolutely alive for a playoff with either Hovland or Scheffler.

March 6, 2022, 9:45 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:43 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:41 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:39 PM
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Total carnage on the course right now. Scheffler and Hovland are currently tied at the top at -5. Here are the Caesars Sportsbook live odds.

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March 6, 2022, 9:33 PM
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March 6, 2022, 9:26 PM
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Jon Rahm notches back-to-back PGA Tour finishes outside the top 10 for just the third time since the 2020 Tour Championship.

In that span ...

Inside top 10: 19 times
Outside top 10: 10 times

March 6, 2022, 9:22 PM
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