Bay_Hill_Golf_04000

Bryson DeChambeau hits a drive on the third hole Sunday during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. John Raoux/Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Bryson DeChambeau received a text message Sunday morning from Tiger Woods to keep fighting, good advice for a final round that turned out to be the toughest at Bay Hill in 41 years.

Inspiration from Arnold Palmer is everywhere, and DeChambeau was particularly drawn to the King’s motto to play boldly.

DeChambeau needed every bit of that Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, playing the final 17 holes without a bogey, entertaining thousands with another monstrous drive over the water and delivering one last par with a 5-foot putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory over Lee Westwood.

He looked dapper in his tam o’shanter cap and red cardigan sweater that goes to the winner.

“I think this red cardigan is not only for Mr. Palmer, but I would say it’s a little bit for Tiger, as well, knowing what place he’s in right now,” DeChambeau said.

Woods, recovering from serious leg injuries from his single-car crash in Los Angeles two weeks ago, would have witnessed quite a show in blustery conditions, fast fairways and greens to quick they looked almost white.

DeChambeau closed with a 71, matching the low score of the final round in which no one broke 70 on Sunday at Bay Hill for the first time since 1980.

Westwood, who turns 48 next month, was up to the task.

Never mind that DeChambeau’s rocket over the water on the 565-yard sixth hole was 168 yards beyond Westwood. Their second shots were only 6 feet apart and both made birdie.

Westwood fought to the end. He fell out of a share of the lead with a three-putt bogey from 40 feet on the 14th. Just as critical was failing to make birdie on the par-5 16th with a wedge for his second shot from the fairway, and DeChambeau having to scramble for par.

“You can’t want for more than that. I thought we had a really good battle,” Westwood said. “It was never really more than one (shot) all day, and there were tough conditions out there. It was a day for playing sensible and hanging on.”

They were never separated by more than one shot over the final 15 holes. DeChambeau finished at 11-under 277.

DeChambeau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole to regain a share of the lead. More critical was the 50-foot par putt he made on No. 11 to stay one ahead.

“Knowing what I know now, it’s obviously the shot of the day for me,” he said.

Westwood closed with a 73, not a bad score considering the average of 75.49 was the highest for a final round since 1980.

Corey Conners stayed in the mix until the end. The Canadian holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the 16th to get within one shot, only to find a bunker on the par-3 17th and miss a 6-foot par putt. With a bogey on the final hole, he shot 74 to finish alone in third.

Jordan Spieth was part of a four-man race on the front nine and briefly tied for the lead with a birdie on the par-5 sixth. That turned out to be his last birdie. He took bogey on three of his last four holes for a 75, dropping him into a three-way tie for fourth with Andrew Putnam (71) and Ricky Werenski (73).

• Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from The Players Championship that starts Thursday because of what his manager described as a strained right knee.

Koepka won the Phoenix Open last month and was runner-up in the Workday Championship last week. He has been bothered the last few years by injuries to his left knee, including a partially torn patella, and has also talked about soreness in his neck that at times makes it difficult for him to turn his head.

LPGA: Austin Ernst won the Drive On Championship for her third LPGA Tour title, pulling away to beat fellow former NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho by five strokes in Ocala, Florida.

Tied for the lead with Kupcho after each of the first two rounds and a stroke ahead entering the day, Ernst closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 15-under 273.

Kupcho had a double bogey and three bogeys in a 74.

Following sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda in the first two events of the year, Ernst gave the United States three straight victories to open a season for the first time since 2007.

Comments are not available on this story.