The hottest player in the world over the second half of 2015 returned to form on Sunday, as Jason Day competed a wire-to-wire victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitation at Bay Hill, his first win of 2016.
Day regained the No. 2 position in the world with the win, and could conceivably pass Jordan Spieth for No. 1 with a win at the WGC-Dell Match Play next week.
He had to hold off a giant run by Troy Merritt, who fired five straight birdies on the back nine to tie Day, only to double-bogey No. 18 and finish tied for third.
Day made the lead nearly unreachable by opening the tournament with rounds of 66-65. He finished 17 strokes under par to earn $1.134 million.
Kevin Chappell, making his 150th career PGA Tour start, remains winless – finishing second by a single stroke. He shot under 70 in all four rounds, but his bogey on 18 cost him a potential playoff. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson tied Merritt for third. He played the middle eight holes at 4-under, but fell apart with bogeys on 14 and 16 to fall out of contention.
Combining his PGA and European Tour cards, Stenson has finished in the top six of four events this year; and the top three of three of them.