Welcome to another week on the PGA Tour and its Florida swing. This week’s event brings out some of the big boys as almost every active player wants to win a tournament hosted by an all-time great. This week’s event is the Arnold Palmer invitational at Bay Hill. It is a tournament with a rich history, while operating as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and prior as the Bay Hill Invitational has been a tour stop since its inception in 1979.
The Bay Hill Club & Lodge will be the host course, as usual, for the event. The course boasts a par 72, 7,419 yard layout. An original Dick Wilson designed track, loved so much by Arnold Palmer that he ended up buying the course. Of course it would not be an Arnold Palmer design if he did not make changes over the years. Nothing wrong with that as Arnie is one of the premier course designers in the world.
There are not a ton of take-a-breather holes in this event but there will be added attention paid to the final three holes at Bay Hill. Consider the 16th hole and that it is a reachable par 5 which should be playing just over 510 yards. Players then approach the tee at the 220+ yard par 3 17th and finish on the 450+ yard par 4 finishing hole. This stretch has been known to create some drama over the history of the event. The crowning moment would be when Robert Gamez holed a 7-iron on the 18th to beat Greg Norman (Another one of those Norman moments).
This event has its share of marquee names on the victory trophy. Tiger Woods (7x), Ernie Els (2x), Tom Kite (2x), Payne Stewart, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Fred Couples are just a few of the winners. The 72 hole record at the event belongs to Payne Stewart who shot 264 in 1987. The low round of 62 in this event has been matched twice, once by Andy Bean in 1981 and the other by Greg Norman in 1984. If you wanted to relive some memorable moments of this event up to 2009 watch below to remember what makes this event so great.
YouTube Video Courtesy of pgatour
As usual no PGA Tour event would be complete without a charity involved. Something I credit the PGA Tour for as they constantly attempt to give back to the local communities. This week’s primary beneficiary is the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which includes the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. According to the media information for the charity:
“The most advanced technology, coupled with compassion and dedication have made Arnold Palmer Hospital one of the most trusted names in children’s healthcare worldwide. Careful attention has been paid to creating a cheerful, comforting environment to minimize stress and generate smiles.”
Its defending champion, Tiger Woods, appears on the prowl for another victory.13 of the world’s top 20 ranked players are in this week’s field. Some of the marquee names this week are previously mentioned Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley, Lee Westwood amongst others. But who are the logical win choices? Lets break some down.
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