Strong field for Bay Hill already taking shape with five of the current top six in the world
World No. 1 Tiger Woods, the two-time defending champion, has committed to compete in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, where he will be vying for a PGA TOUR record ninth victory. Woods, 38, has won Palmer's prestigious event eight times, tying Sam Snead for the record of most victories in one event, which Snead set at the Greater Greensboro Open.
Masters champion Adam Scott and U.S. Open champion Justin Rose also are among the players on the early commitment list for the 36th edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard scheduled for March 17-23. Scott, No. 2 in the world, is slated to make his first appearance at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla., since 2009 while Rose, runner-up last year to Tiger Woods, will make his fifth straight appearance and 10th overall. Rose is No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking though currently sidelined by a shoulder injury.
"It is always rewarding to see us begin to populate our field with some of the finest players in the world, and, of course, we're happy to have the No. 1 player in the world and our eight-time champion Tiger Woods returning," said Tournament Director Scott Wellington. "It will be exciting to see if he can win here at Bay Hill for a ninth time, which no one has ever done in one event.
"And to have two great young players in Adam and Justin, the reigning Masters and U.S. Open winners, respectively, commit so early to our tournament is pretty special," Wellington added. "We welcome Adam back after a few years of not playing here, and certainly look forward to Justin's return after coming so close to winning last year."
Woods is coming off a 2013 season in which he won five times, including a two-stroke victory over Rose on a Monday afternoon after Sunday's final-round was washed out by a severe thunderstorm.
Scott and Rose, both 33 years old, each captured his first major championship title last year in dramatic fashion. A native of Australia, Scott outlasted Argentina's Angel Cabrera in a playoff to become the first Aussie to win a green jacket. Rose, meanwhile, became the first Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the U.S. Open title when he beat Phil Mickelson and Jason Day by a stroke at Merion Golf Club.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard always has enjoyed a strong international field, and this year is no exception. In addition to Scott and Rose, World No. 3 Henrik Stenson, the reigning FedExCup champion, has committed to compete along with three-time major champion Padraig Harrington of Northern Ireland and 2012 European Ryder Cup player Nicholas Colsaerts of Belgium.
Meanwhile, three other American players ranked among the top 35 in the world also have entered the prestigious invitational, led by Zach Johnson, ranked No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking and a winner earlier this year at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Also in are Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan, ranked 17th and 33rd, respectively. Paul Goydos, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard in 1996, is also among the early sign-ups.
The 36th edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard is scheduled for March 17-23 at the Championship Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, which recently was selected to the 2014 CondÃ© Nast Traveler Gold List. World No. 1 Tiger Woods is the two-time defending champion.
For tickets to the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard or for more information, visit the tournament website, www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com, or call the Bay Hill Club ticket office at 407-876-7774 or toll free at 1-866-764-4843. Proceeds from the tournament benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.