While Marc Leishman was rightly grabbing the headlines winning his second PGA TOUR title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Jason Day quietly restored some confidence in the final round at Bay Hill.
The defending champion is struggling to get back to his best after his 2016 season was curtailed by a back injury and he showed some rust in Florida, particularly with a Saturday 75.
But five birdies on Sunday was more familiar territory for Day who recently withdrew from the WGC - Mexico Championship with a double ear infection.
Statistics suggest it is Day’s iron play which needs the most work as he finished 65th in the field in the Strokes Gained: Approach the Green category.
Around the green he ranked ninth and in putting he was 24th while of the tee he finished 35th in the field.
Those numbers will hold him in good stead when he defends for the second straight week at the WGC - Match Play event in Texas.
Day and Leishman were the only two Australians to shoot under par in the final round, Greg Chalmers finishing one ahead of Day with a final round 75.
The left hander made a disappointing double bogey at the 72nd hole after finding water with his approach to drop out of the top-15 and finish T17.
Cameron Smith also struggled on Sunday which he will be particularly disappointed with having recovered from a poor opening round with back to back rounds of 69.
Smith got off to a bad start in the final round with three bogeys in the first eight holes then compounded the error with three more early in the back-9.
He showed determination to pick up two shots in his last five holes but still slipped 19 places down the standings to T34.
Aaron Baddeley finished a shot further back and T41 while Ryan Ruffels was the last of the Australians to qualify for the weekend.
Ruffels played the tournament on a sponsors invite and was part of the story early in the week when he played his first nine holes in 4-under to be well in the mix.
He eventually signed for a 69 on Thursday but couldn’t maintain the momentum for the rest of the week with rounds of 74-76-73 seeing him finish T56.
A triple bogey on the 72nd hole will have left a bad taste in the teenager’s mouth but after missing the cut when playing on an invite last year will be pleased to have achieved the goal of at least playing the weekend.
Rod Pampling, Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch all missed the cut. Amateur Curtis Luck signed for an incorrect scorecard in the second round and was disqualified.
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