Rory McIlroy believes his 19th PGA Tour win is "only a matter of time" after Tyrrell Hatton came through a demolition derby final round to win his first in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
Just two shots behind his Ryder Cup team-mate overnight, the world No 1 was tied for the lead heading to the fifth in brutal final round conditions. But a bogey there, followed by two double-bogeys in his next four holes wrecked his chances and he shot 76 to finish four behind in a tie for fifth on even par.
"Two loose shots sort of cost me," said McIlroy, who thinned his third from a bunker into the lakeside rocks to make a double-bogey seven at the 560-yard sixth, then drove out of bounds and double-bogeyed the ninth to fall six shots off the pace.
"I stood up here yesterday saying that the key tomorrow was to keep the big numbers off your card and I made two of those today, and that's what cost me."
After following an opening 66 with rounds of 73, 73 and 76, it was the first time that McIlroy shot three successive over-par rounds in a PGA Tour event since the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions.
But while he admitted it was "aggravating" to be forced to settle for a fourth successive top-five finish and remain on 18 PGA Tour wins, he insisted he was upbeat about this game heading to TPC Sawgrass for his defence of The Players Championship this week.
Spain’s Jorge Campillo poses with the trophy following his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters victory at Education City Golf Club in Doha yesterday. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
"There's a lot of similarities between the start of this year and the start of last year - lot of chances and not converting, " he said. "I mean, it's aggravating but I just have to keep telling myself the game's there."
He added: "I think my win percentage on tour is like 10 percent and I think that's pretty high for anyone not being Tiger Woods.
"I've had chances, and I wish I had converted one of them over the last few weeks, but I'm still in good form.
"I'm playing some good golf, and hopefully if I just keep putting myself in those positions, it's only a matter of time."
While English star Hatton (28) fell into a tie for the lead with Sungjae Im after a double-bogey six at the 11th, the South Korea faltered and he held off 2017 champion Marc Leishman down the stretch, closing with seven straight pars to card a two-over 74 to the Australian's 73 for a one-shot win on four-under.
"It's hard to explain," an emotional Hatton said after becoming the fifth non-American to win at Bay Hill in the last five years. "It's just an incredible feeling. To hold on to win here at such an iconic venue, I'm just over the moon."
Graeme McDowell closed with a four-over 76 to finish tied 32nd on six-over-par on a day when Matthew Fitzpatrick was the only player to break 70, carding a 69 to tie for ninth on one-over.
At the European Tour's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Spain's Jorge Campillo cruelly denied Scotland's David Drysdale (44) his first win at the fifth hole of an epic sudden-death play-off. The Spaniard (33) was in sensational form with the putter and birdied the 513-yard, par-four 18th three times in the play-off to clinch his second European Tour victory.
He held a two-shot lead with two holes to play but double-bogeyed the 17th to shoot a one-over 72 to Drysdale's 71. Drysdale hit a magnificent approach to eight feet at the first extra hole, but Campillo made a 25 footer for a three, forcing Drysdale to hole his slick effort to stay alive.
On their second trip down the last, Drysdale hit a superb approach to four feet, but Campillo made a clutch, 20-footer to stay alive.
Both men made regulation par fours on the third and fourth play-off holes before Campillo made a 20-footer in fading light and Drysdale failed from around 18 feet.
"I'm just so proud right now of the way I played in the play-off," said Campillo, who forced the Scot to settle for his fourth runner-up finish in 498 European Tour starts.
Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin (27) tied for 66th on level par after closing 71.