Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview

Where: Orlando, Florida
Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge (36-36—72/7,454)
Defending champion: Francesco Molinari
Purse: $9,300,000 ($1,674,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Field size: 121
Format: 72-hole stroke play

For Arnold Palmer Invitational Winners and History, follow the link

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview 2020

  • Francesco Molinari set to defend his 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard title
  • An international player has won each of the last four years
  • Field headlined by 18 of top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by No. 1 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Brooks Koepka, and 22 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings
  • McIlroy has finished in the top five in six consecutive starts; only Tiger Woods has had a streak of seven or more in the last 20 years
  • 2019 Arnold Palmer Award winner Sungjae Im earned his first career TOUR victory at last week’s The Honda Classic
  • Elevated PGA TOUR event offers heightened purse ($9.3 million) and three-year TOUR exemption

Results For The 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

Pos. Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Francesco Molinari 69 70 73 64276 (-12)
2 Matthew Fitzpatrick 70 70 67 71278 (-10)
T3 Sungjae Im 71 69 71 68279 (-9)
T3 Tommy Fleetwood 69 66 76 68279 (-9)
T3 Rafa Cabrera Bello 65 75 70 69279 (-9)
  • Francesco Molinari’s victory was his third PGA TOUR title in a 12-start span
  • Fourth consecutive win at the event by an international player (Jason Day/Australia/2016, Marc Leishman/Australia/2017, Rory McIlroy/Northern Ireland/2018, Molinari/2019/Italy)
  • Began the final round five strokes back, one shy of the largest come-from-behind victory since the tournament moved to Bay Hill in 1979 (Tom Kite/1982, Gary Koch/1984)
  • Finished the final round 100 minutes before play concluded for the day
  • Bogey-free final-round 64 included a birdie putt from 43 feet, 9 inches on the 72nd hole
  • One of two players to win an event at which he recorded a hole-in-one during the 2018-19 season (other: J.B. Holmes/The Genesis Invitational)
  • The top five players on the final leaderboard were all international players

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview: Notes On The Field

  • Eight of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings, led by Sungjae Im (2), Rory McIlroy (3) and Brendon Todd (5)
  • 18 of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by McIlroy (1), Brooks Koepka (3) and Adam Scott (7)
  • 21 major championship winners accounting for 37 wins, led by Phil Mickelson (5), Koepka (4) and McIlroy (4)
  • Eight past champions of the event (nine wins): Robert Gamez (1990), Mickelson (1997), Vijay Singh (2007), Matt Every (2014, 2015), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017), McIlroy (2018) and Francesco Molinari (2019)
  • 10 former Rookie of the Year winners: Gamez (1990), Singh (1993), Stewart Cink (1997), Charles Howell III (2001), Leishman (2009), Rickie Fowler (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Emiliano Grillo (2016), Xander Schauffele (2017), Im (2019)
  • Five FedExCup champions: Vijay Singh (2008), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014), Rory McIlroy (2016, 2019), Justin Rose (2018)

FedEx Cup Notes

  • The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the 22nd official FedExCup event in the 2019-20 season
  • Eight of the 13 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)
  • Tiger Woods is the only player to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational and go on to win the FedExCup in the same season (2009)
  • After Francesco Molinari’s win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2019, he went on to finish No. 40 in the FedExCup
  • Six players are within reach of the FedExCup lead; current leader Justin Thomas is not in the field

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will be recognized through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program and be well-positioned entering the FedExCup Playoffs

Pos. Player Points Wins Top-10s Pts. Behind Starts
1 Justin Thomas 1,403 2 5 8
2 Sungjae Im 1,268 1 4 135 13
3 Rory McIlroy 1,083 1 5 320 5
4 Webb Simpson 1,083 1 4 320 5
5 Brendon Todd 1,066 2 3 337 13
6 Patrick Reed 1,024 1 4 379 7
7 Lanto Griffin 1,009 1 3 394 15
8 Sebastian Munoz 1,006 1 3 397 14
9 Hideki Matsuyama 864 4 539 10
10 Kevin Na 809 1 2 594 11

Arnold Palmer Invitational Featured Players

Francesco Molinari

  • Will attempt to join Loren Roberts (1994, 1995), Tiger Woods (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003; 2008, 2009; 2012, 2013) and Matt Every (2014, 2015) as back-to-back winners of the event
  • Seeking to join the following players with multiple titles at the event: Tiger Woods (8), Jerry Heard (2), Gary Koch (2), Tom Kite (2), Loren Roberts (2), Ernie Els (2), Matt Every (2)
  • Has not missed the cut in seven starts at the event and has four top-10s (T5/2014, T9/2016, T7/2017, Won/2019)
  • 24 of 28 rounds at Bay Hill have been par-or-better
  • No top-10s on the PGA TOUR since a T5 at the 2019 Masters Tournament (14 starts)

Rory McIlroy

  • 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard winner
  • Would move to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings with a win (currently No. 3)
  • With a win, would move into a tie for 39th all-time in PGA TOUR wins (19)
  • Can join Tiger Woods as the only players with seven or more consecutive top-fives on TOUR since 2000 (Won/2019 TOUR Championship, T3/2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, Won/2019 WGC-HSBC Champions, T3/2020 Farmers Insurance Open, T5/2020 The Genesis Invitational, 5th/2020 WGC-Mexico Championship)
  • Leads the PGA TOUR in Scoring Average (68.205), Scrambling (72.00%) and Par-5 Scoring Average (4.35)
  • Last World No. 1 to win the event: Tiger Woods (2009)
  • Last World No. 1 to win on the PGA TOUR: Brooks Koepka (2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational)

Brooks Koepka

  • 2017-18 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and current World No. 3
  • Making his fifth start at Bay Hill (T26/2014, WD/2015, MC/2017, MC/2019)
  • In search of eighth PGA TOUR title and first since 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
  • Limited to four starts to date this season due to injury; enters No. 220 in the FedExCup standings

Sungjae Im

  • Winner of last week’s The Honda Classic, his first victory on the PGA TOUR
  • No. 2 in the FedExCup standings; can take over the No. 1 position with a 3-way T3 or better if Rory McIlroy does not win
  • Recipient of the Arnold Palmer Award as 2019 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year

Additional Player Notes

  • Jason Day is making his 10th start at the event, with 2016 win his only top-10 finish at Bay Hill; third player to win the event wire-to-wire, joining Mike Nicolette (1983) and Fred Couples (1992)
  • In 2015, Matt Every joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to win back-to-back at Bay Hill; can 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 ninth start at Bay Hill, where he has one top-10 (T3/2013); best result in five starts on the 2019-20 season: T5/Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • Viktor Hovland birded the 72nd hole to win the Puerto Rico Open, becoming the first rookie winner of the season and first player from Norway to win on TOUR; finished T40 in 2019 in only other start at Bay Hill
  • When a fan with special needs yelled in Brandon Matthews’ backstroke at the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica event in Argentina in November 2019, he gained international attention for the way he handled defeat; tournament officials noticed and decided to give him a sponsor exemption for his first PGA TOUR start
  • Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, will make his 11th start in the event and remains in search of his first top-10 (best result: T29/2015)
  • Adam Scott recently won The Genesis Invitational for his 14th official PGA TOUR title; making his 11th start at the event, with top-10 finishes in 2004 (T3) and 2014 (3rd)
  • Henrik Stenson returns for his 12th start at Bay Hill; has five top-10 finishes in his last seven appearances (T8/2013, T5/2014, 2nd/2015, T3/2016, 4th/2018)

Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview: Additional Notes

  • For the second time, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard is part of the Open Qualifying Series (OQS), offering three spots in the 2020 Open Championship to the top players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties. The other PGA TOUR events in the Open Qualifying Series are the RBC Canadian Open, Travelers Championship and John Deere Classic. At the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Keith Mitchell, Sungjae Im and Sung Kang earned spots into The Open Championship.
  • For the sixth 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 eight international winners (9 wins): Ernie Els (1998, 2010), Rod Pampling (2006), Vijay Singh (2007), Martin Laird (2011), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017), Rory McIlroy (2018), Francesco Molinari (2019)
  • 2020 tournament ambassadors: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, 2017 champion Marc Leishman and country music star Darius Rucker

About Arnold Palmer (excerpts from PGATOUR.COM)

Arnold Palmer

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 RBC 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 first 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 & 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.

via PGA TOUR

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