Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview
- February 27 – March 5
- 18th of 44 FedExCup Regular Season events
- Orlando, Florida
- Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge •
- Par 72
- 7,466 yds.
- Purse $20 million
- Winner $3.6 million + 550 FedExCup pts.
- 120 players
- 72-hole stroke-play
- Defending champion Scottie Scheffler
Past Arnold Palmer Invitational Winners
R1 ESPN+ 7 a.m.-6 p.m. GOLF 2-6 p.m.
R2 ESPN+ 7 a.m.-6 p.m. GOLF 2-6 p.m.
R3 ESPN+ 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. GOLF 12:30-2:30 p.m. NBC 2:30-6 p.m.
R4 ESPN+ 7:15 a.m.-6 p.m. GOLF 12:30-2:30 p.m. NBC 2:30-6 p.m.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard is the fourth designated event of the PGA TOUR season, featuring 43 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings and all 14 players that have won on TOUR this season.
The last time 40 or more of the top 50 players in the OWGR competed in a PGA TOUR event was at the 2022 Open Championship (last non-major: 2022 PLAYERS Championship).
FedExCup leader Jon Rahm earned his 10th career PGA TOUR victory and third of the season in his most recent start, winning The Genesis Invitational. With the win, Rahm became the first player since Johnny Miller in 1975 to win three times in a calendar year before March 1. The last player to win four times before April 1 was also Miller, in 1974.
Rahm regained the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking with his win at The Genesis Invitational, the third time this season that the No. 1 spot changed and second in 2023. Both Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler, who have previously held the World No. 1 position this season, have a chance to return to No. 1
2022 winner and reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler is making his second of four starts as the defending champion in a nine-week stretch, and successfully defended his title during the first opportunity (WM Phoenix Open). The last player to successfully defend multiple titles in a season was Tiger Woods, who did so four times in 2007 (Farmers Insurance Open, PGA Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, WGC-CA Championship).
2018 winner and reigning FedExCup Champion Rory McIlroy is making his ninth consecutive start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has finished worse than T13 just once (T27/2016). McIlroy’s Scoring Average of 70.31 at the event is the second-lowest of any player on record (1983-present) with a minimum of 20 rounds played, behind only eight-time champion Tiger Woods (69.97).
McIlroy has been the first-round leader/co-leader each of the last two years at the event. The last player to hold the 18-hole lead/co-lead at the same tournament three years in a row was Tiger Woods at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Chris Kirk won The Honda Classic Sunday, earning his fifth PGA TOUR title and first since the 2015 Charles Schwab Challenge. Kirk is one of two players with top-10s in each of the last two years at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (T8/2021, T5/2022), along with Matt Fitzpatrick.
Kirk snapped a winless drought of 7 years, 9 months, 2 days and 178 starts, becoming the first player to go seven years or more between victories on the PGA TOUR since Lucas Glover won the 2021 John Deere Classic (10 years, 2 months, 3 days). In addition to the win, he finished solo-third at the Sony Open in Hawaii and T3 at The American Express, and is one of three players with multiple top-three finishes this season, along with multiple winners Jon Rahm and Max Homa.
World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay is making his tournament debut. Cantlay has two top-three finishes, including a runner-up at the Shriners Children’s Open and a solo-third at The Genesis Invitational in his most recent start.
Rookie Eric Cole finished runner-up at last week’s Honda Classic, falling in a playoff to Chris Kirk. Cole moved to No. 33 in the FedExCup standings and will make his tournament debut at THE PLAYERS Championship next week.
DP World Tour member Min Woo Lee finished T26 at The Honda Classic to maintain his position in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking (No. 50) and earn a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship.
Competing on a sponsor exemption, Texas Tech senior Ludvig Aberg of Sweden currently ranks No. 1 in the PGA TOUR University Velocity Global Ranking, a spot he’s held since September 14, 2022. The No. 1 player on the final PGA TOUR University ranking following the conclusion of stroke play at the 2023 NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship will earn PGA TOUR membership for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, beginning at the RBC Canadian Open.
The top three players not otherwise exempt will earn spots in The 151st Open Championship via the Open Qualifying Series. Keith Mitchell, who is making his first start since moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career (currently No. 45), has earned a spot in the last three Open Championships via OQS, including 2019 and 2021 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (2022: RBC Canadian Open). Chris Kirk was one of the two players to qualify in 2022 at Bay Hill.
The Arnold Palmer Award
The Arnold Palmer Award is given annually to the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, and defending champion Scottie Scheffler was the recipient of the award in 2020.
In 2022, the honor went to Cameron Young, who will make his second start in the event after a T13 in his tournament debut in 2022. Young and Will Zalatoris, who attended Palmer’s alma mater of Wake Forest, became the first pair from the same college to win the award in back-to-back seasons (est. 1990).
Young is one of 11 players to be named Rookie of the Year in this week’s field, along with Stewart Cink (1997), Rickie Fowler (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jordan Spieth (2013), Emiliano Grillo (2016), Xander Schauffele (2017), Aaron Wise (2018), Sungjae Im (2019), Scheffler (2020) and Zalatoris (2021).
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge was the most difficult course on the PGA TOUR during the 2021-22 season among non-majors, playing to an average of 1.886 over par.
|Low 18-hole score||62||4 players; most recent: Adam Scott||2014: R1|
|Low 36-hole score||130||3 players; most recent: Adam Scott||2014|
|Low 54-hole score||197||Andy Bean||1981|
|Low 72-hole score||264||Payne Stewart||1987|
|Holes-in-one (1983-present)||22||22 players; most recent: Max Homa||2022 (R3, #14)|
|Largest 18 Hole Lead||3||3 players; most recent: Adam Scott||2014|
|Largest 36 Hole Lead||7||Adam Scott||2014|
|Largest 54 Hole Lead||6||3 players; most recent: Ernie Els||1998|
|Largest Margin of Victory||11||Tiger Woods||2003|
|Playoffs||7||Most Recent: Tim Herron def Tom Lehman||1999|
|Wire-to-wire winners||3||Most recent: Jason Day||2016|
The Arnold Palmer Invitational preview is via PGA TOUR