Recap: Yesterday wrapped up the Arnold Palmer Invitational and it didn’t fail to excite. This week featured a very good field as it included Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, Justin Rose and many more. Jason Day jumped out to a early lead after Thursday and was able to end up going wire-to-wire. Day entered Sunday with a two shot lead over 3 other players including the number 7 golfer in the world, Henrik Stenson. Jason Day entered the back nine in a tie for the lead with Kevin Chappell and Stenson and Troy Merritt were right behind. Day carded a mistake free back nine and made a key birdie at the par 3 17th to tie for the lead at the time. Chappell bogeyed the 18th hole in the group ahead of Day so Jason only needed a par to win. After driving the ball in the right rough, he played safely into the back bunker. Having to get up and down, he hit his bunker shot to 4 feet and sank the putt to win. Day has won 5 of his last 13 starts, which is just absurd. There could be an argument made that when Jason Day is playing his best, no one on this planet can beat him. With The Masters approaching (stay tuned for a in-depth preview in the coming weeks), Jason is looking like a heavy favorite along with Adam Scott and Bubba Watson.
Shot of the Day: The shot of the day was by Day and it came on the 72nd hole. He had to get up and down to win and he found himself in a difficult situation in the back bunker. The long bunker shot is one of the most difficult shots in golf and he was staring straight at the water. With the green running away from him, he played a shot just over half way to the hole and judged the release perfectly as it released down 4 feet past the hole to set up the winning putt.
Looking ahead: This coming week we have the WGC- Dell Match Play. This features the world’s best golfers and offers some good match play and head to head golf before late September and the Ryder Cup. The Bracket/Groups will be selected at 7 pm ET tonight. This March Madness style event takes place in the midst of the NCAA tournament so there will be plenty of madness (and sadness, see Tyler’s article from earlier today) to watch. It will be interesting to see the final groupings. The way the groupings work is that the top 16 players based on World Ranking will get the “top seeds” in each four person group and the remaining players will be put into 3 groups based on ranking and one player from each of the three groups will be randomly selected to finish out the groups of four. I personally love this style event and I am a fan of the changes it has taken over the past few years. I love the groups and bracket combination; it has Soccer World Cup feel along with a little March Madness feeling.
Prediction: NOTE: That groups and potential match ups are not being released until tonight but I will mention a player who should be a good bet to have a great week. Zach Johnson is coming of a top 5 finish this past weekend and is looking to have another good week. He seems to be getting more comfortable with his new clubs each week and it looks like he is finally swinging the club well. He always seems to find a way to grind out birdies and a pars from tough situations and mentally playing against him is draining for opponents. The course, Austin Country Club, is short and has smaller, rolling greens and this should suit Zach’s game nicely.
Cover Photo via The Guardian