Martin Laird Wins Arnold Palmer Event At Bay Hill

(From Martin Laird defied the challenge of American Steve Marino over the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to win by a single shot.

The Scot squandered his two-shot overnight lead, but recovered to overtake Marino with two holes to play.

A solid approach over water at the last and a two-putt from about 80ft ensured a second PGA Tour title for Laird.

England’s Justin Rose took a share of third at six under with a round of 68 that included a five-under back nine.

Laird began the day with a decent advantage over another American Spencer Levin but bogeyed the third, seventh and ninth to reach the turn in three-over 39.

The 28-year-old slipped further off the pace as he hooked into the water following a poor tee shot for a double-bogey six on the 11th.

His resurgence began with a birdie at the 12th and, despite a further bogey on 14 to fall three shots behind, the US-based Glaswegian picked up another two strokes at the 15th and 16th to restore a two-shot lead as the charging Marino faltered.

“I’ve had perseverance all week and it paid off,” said Laird, who lost a play-off in Las Vegas last year and also lost to Matt Kuchar in a play-off for the Barclays event in August after three-putting the 72nd hole.

He added: “I don’t know if I was nervous. I thought in the morning that I’ve let a few tournaments go and I came out today, I wasn’t joking around – this was going to be my tournament to win, and I felt comfortable.

“I never thought about not winning. At three down I didn’t have a choice, I had to make birdies – Steve was playing so well and he wasn’t going to drop all the way back to where I was.

“That was the focus – not a place finish, I was out there trying to get this trophy.”

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