Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview 2019

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview 2019

Dates: March 4-10, 2019
Where: Orlando, Florida
Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge (36-36—72/7,454)
Defending champion: Rory McIlroy
Purse: $9,100,000 ($1,638,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Field size: 122
Format: 72-hole stroke play

Notes on the Arnold Palmer Invitational Field

  • 17 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by Charles Howell III (4), Rickie Fowler (6), Marc Leishman (7), Brooks Koepka (8), Phil Mickelson (9)
  • Seven FedExCup champions: Vijay Singh (2008), Bill Haas (2010), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2013-14), Rory McIlroy (2015-16), Justin Rose (2017-18)
  • Six of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Justin Rose (2), Brooks Koepka (3), Bryson DeChambeau (5), Rory McIlroy (6), Rickie Fowler (7), Francesco Molinari (10)
  • 10 past Arnold Palmer Invitational champions: Robert Gamez (1990), Phil Mickelson (1997), Ernie Els (1998, 2010), Tim Herron (1999), Vijay Singh (2007), Martin Laird (2011), Matt Every (2014, 2015), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017), Rory McIlroy (2018)
  • Former Rookie of the Year winners: Robert Gamez (1990), Vijay Singh (1993), Ernie Els (1994), Stewart Cink (1997), Charles Howell III (2001), Brandt Snedeker (2007), Marc Leishman (2009), Rickie Fowler (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Chesson Hadley (2014), Daniel Berger (2015), Aaron Wise (2018) (Note: italics represent players who have also won at the Arnold Palmer Invitational)

A look back at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Pos. Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Rory McIlroy 69 70 67 64 270/-18
2 Bryson DeChambeau 67 66 72 68 273/-15
3 Justin Rose 69 71 67 67 274/-14
4 Henrik Stenson 64 69 71 71 275/-13
T5 Tiger Woods 68 72 69 69 278/-10
T5 Ryan Moore 71 67 69 71 278/-10
  • After entering the final round two shots off the lead, Rory McIlroy birdied five of his last six holes en route to a bogey- free 64 and three-shot victory over Bryson DeChambeau
  • The victory was the 14th of McIlroy’s career; No. 13 came on September 25, 2016, the day Arnold Palmer passed away
  • He became the third player in the modern era with 14 wins by age 30, joining Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
  • McIlroy set career-best marks in total putts (100) and Strokes Gained: Putting (10.027)
  • Three FedExCup champions in the top five: McIlroy (2015-16), Henrik Stenson (2013), Tiger Woods (2007, 2009)
  • The top-five on the leaderboard accounted for 108 TOUR wins, 20 major wins and three PLAYERS Championship titles

The Arnold Palmer Invitational and the FedExCup

  • The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the 19th event in the 2018-19 FedExCup season
  • Eight of the 12 winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship in the FedExCup era: Vijay Singh (2007), Tiger Woods (2009, 2012, 2013), Ernie Els (2010), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017), Rory McIlroy (2018)
  • In 2009, Tiger Woods won at Bay Hill en route to winning the FedExCup title
  • After Rory McIlroy’s win at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, he went on to finish 13th in the FedExCup

Wyndham Rewards Top 10 – Current top 10 in the FedExCup standings

Pos. Player Points Wins
1 Xander Schauffele 1,298 2
2 Matt Kuchar 1,239 2
3 Gary Woodland 998 0
4 Charles Howell III 956 1
5 Justin Thomas 948 0
6 Rickie Fowler 934 1
7 Marc Leishman 931 1
8 Brooks Koepka 871 1
9 Phil Mickelson 821 1
10 Dustin Johnson 770 1

Player Notes

Rory McIlroy

  • After a T54 in his first start of the season at the WGC-HSBC Champions, has reeled off four consecutive top-five finishes on TOUR (T4/Sentry Tournament of Champions, T5/Farmers Insurance Open, T4/Genesis Open, 2nd/WGC-Mexico Championship), accomplishing the feat for the first time in his career
  • Will attempt to join Matt Every (2014-15), Tiger Woods (2000-03, 2008-09, 2012-13) and Loren Roberts (1994-95) as back-to-back winners at Bay Hill
  • Seeking to join the following multiple Arnold Palmer Invitational winners: Tiger Woods (8), Jerry Heard (2), Gary Koch (2), Tom Kite (2), Loren Roberts (2), Ernie Els (2), Matt Every (2)
  • 2018 victory snapped a winless streak, with 2017 the first year since 2008 he had failed to record a win on any tour worldwide
  • Has two consecutive top-fives in the event: Won/2018, T4/2017

Additional Player Notes

  • Jason Day – 2016 API champion will make his ninth start at the event, with his victory in 2016 his only top-10 finish at Bay Hill; won that year to become just the third wire-to-wire winner (no ties) of the event, joining Mike Nicolette (1983) and Fred Couples (1992)
  • Ernie Els – Will tee it up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the 24th time; two-time API champion (1998, 2010) most recently finished T49 in 2018
  • Matt Every In 2015, joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts (1994-95) as the only players to win in back-to-back years at Bay Hill; Roberts, like Every, also posted his first two career victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational; will attempt in 2019 to become the first player to post his first three PGA TOUR victories at the same event since Leonard Gallett (1929, 1933, 1934 Wisconsin PGA)
  • Rickie Fowler – Will make his eighth start at Bay Hill (T50/2010, T30/2011, T3/2013, MC/2014, T29/2015, 12/2017, T14/2018); claimed fifth TOUR title at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open and is coming off a T2 at The Honda Classic
  • Zach Johnson – Just one missed cut (2010) in 15 previous starts at Bay Hill with five top-10s: T6/2004, T8/2005, 3rd/2009, T9/2015 and 5th/2016
  • Brooks Koepka – 2017-18 PGA TOUR Player of the Year will make his fourth start at Bay Hill (T26/2014, WD/2015, MC/2017) and is coming off a T2 at The Honda Classic
  • Davis Love III – Three-time runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational returns to the event to make his 27th start
  • Phil Mickelson – 1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational champion returns to the event for the first time since 2013; in addition to his win, has a runner-up finish at Bay Hill in 2001 and T3 in 2002.
  • Justin Rose – The defending FedExCup champion is a Mastercard ambassador and serves on the 2019 tournament host committee; has finished outside the top 15 only once in his last seven starts at the event, highlighted by his runner-up finish to Tiger Woods in 2013.
  • Sam Saunders – Arnold Palmer’s grandson will make his 10th start in the event and remains in search of his first top-10 (best result: T29/2015)
  • Henrik Stenson – For the third time in his last four starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, headed into the final round in 2018 either in the lead or in second; fourth-place finish was his third top-five in his last five starts: 4th/2018, MC/2017, T3/2016, 2nd/2015, T5/2014
  • Martin Trainer – In his 11th start on the PGA TOUR, overcame a two-stroke deficit beginning the final round of the 2019 Puerto Rico Open with a 5-under 67 to win by three strokes; became the third PGA TOUR rookie to win during the 2018-19 season, joining Cameron Champ (Sanderson Farms Championship) and Adam Long (Desert Classic)
  • Bubba Watson – Will make 12th start at Bay Hill, with top-10 finishes in 2012 (T4) and 2008 (T8)

Tournament notes

  • For the fifth consecutive season, the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational will receive a three-year exemption, instead of the two-year exemption awarded at most other PGA Tour events.
  • Five players have made the Arnold Palmer Invitational their maiden PGA TOUR win: Bob Byman (1979), Mike Nicolette (1983), Loren Roberts (1994), Paul Goydos (1996) and Matt Every (2014).
  • The Arnold Palmer Invitational has had seven international winners (8 wins): Ernie Els (1998, 2010), Rod Pampling (2006), Vijay Singh (2007), Martin Laird (2011), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017), Rory McIlroy (2018)
  • Tiger Woods has won eight Arnold Palmer Invitational titles. The only other players with multiple victories at the event: Jerry Heard (1972, 1974), Gary Koch (1977, 1984), Tom Kite (1982, 1989), Loren Roberts (1994-95), Ernie Els (1998, 2010), Matt Every (2014, 2015)

About Arnold Palmer (excerpts from

Arnold Palmer, whose magnetic personality and bold style of play combined to make him one of golf’s greatest players, the sport’s most revered figure and the most influential athlete of his generation, died September 25, 2016 of complications due to a heart condition with his two daughters and wife, Kit, at his side. He was 87.

The winner of 62 career TOUR titles, including seven major championships, Mr. Palmer rose from his modest Western Pennsylvania roots to become a towering figure with appeal that transformed and transcended the sport of golf.

Mr. Palmer’s first PGA TOUR victory came at the Canadian Open in 1955. Just as he began to collect dramatic victories, America’s fascination with television was exploding. TV sets, which numbered only 3.8 million in 1950, were in almost 46 million U.S. homes by 1960. Arnold Palmer’s go-for-broke style made him the ideal leading man for the new medium. He   leapt off the small screen with a winning smile, affable manner and bare-knuckled athleticism. He produced drama. A very large audience, including his competitors, noticed. “When he hits the ball, the earth shakes,” said Hall of Famer Gene Littler.

The temblors reached everywhere, and Arnold Palmer became a hit with Hollywood’s biggest stars and show business

icons, like John Wayne, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra. He was friendly with the 10 U.S. Presidents from Dwight

D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush, and played golf with six of them – Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He was the only golfer to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Mr. Palmer reigned over golf as the game’s No. 1 player and influencer in the 1960s and ‘70s. Until recently, he regularly oversaw the operations of his far-flung business empire and many charitable interests, hosting the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at his Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

In the more than 40 years since his last PGA TOUR victory at the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic, Mr. Palmer actively oversaw his companies – which included the Arnold Palmer Design Company, Arnold Palmer Enterprises, Arnold Palmer Motors and Arnold Palmer Golf Tournament Services. Even as his playing skills waned, Mr. Palmer remained relevant   and visible in golf, transitioning to the Ryder Cup captaincy in 1975, Presidents Cup captaincy in 1996, elder statesman and global business icon.

Mr. Palmer funded numerous charity ventures during his lifetime and founded the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, both of which have been listed among the nation’s top hospitals.


The PGA TOUR and its tournaments continue a commitment to charity through the “Together, anything’s possible” initiative, with the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at the forefront of giving back to communities. The tournament is very proud to support The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, which includes the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

Part of my dad’s legacy was to inspire others to care about things he thought were important,” said Palmer’s daughter

Amy Saunders, chairman of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. “With the help of his many friends, fans and followers, we intend to keep that light shining brightly.”

Aon Risk Reward Challenge

The season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge will highlight the world’s best professional golfers as they tackle the most strategically challenging holes across both the PGA TOUR and LPGA. The PGA TOUR and LPGA player on top of the Aon leaderboard at the end of the regular season will each receive a $1 million prize. The scoring system, identical on both the PGA TOUR and LPGA, is intuitive and produces a compelling risk/reward narrative throughout the season. Players will take their best two scores from each Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole, with the winners having the best average score to par at the end of the regular season. Players must play a minimum of 40 rounds throughout the season. The Challenge runs across regular season tournaments (36 PGA TOUR; 29 LPGA). To view the leaderboard and for more information about the Aon Risk Reward Challenge visit:

This week’s Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard is the 511-yard par-5 16th hole at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.


The short par-5 measuring only 511 yards (scorecard yardage) provides a pivotal moment during the final stretch of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since 2014, the scoring average when hitting the fairway is 4.2 and missing the fairway is 4.7 (+0.5 strokes higher when missing fairway off the tee).


Since 2014, the 16th hole has produced 121 total eagles, 77 more eagles than the rest of the course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Since 2014, the average drive of players going for the green was 306.9 yards, 21.4 yards longer than players who elected to lay up (285.5 yards). Since 2014, only 1 albatross has been made in 1,935 rounds on the par-5, 16th hole (Zach Johnson/R4/2015).


The strategic insight is clear, hitting the fairway with a long tee shot yields the best opportunity for players to take advantage of this par-5. Last year’s champion Rory Mcllroy played the 16th hole a combined 2-under, making birdie in both rounds on the weekend. McIlroy hit a 373-yard drive in the

1 thought on “Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview 2019”

  1. The first and only tournament I ever attended was the API about 10-12 years ago…it was an awesome experience I’ll never forget.


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