Arnold Palmer Invitational Winners and History

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The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of just two PGA Tour events named after former player (the other is the Byron Nelson). Played since 1979 at Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is the successor of the Florida Citrus Open.

The Palmer also is one of just five PGA Tour “Invitational” events, with a reduced field of 120 players, and no Monday Qualifying. The top 70 players from the previous year’s money list are the only guaranteed invitations.

The Florida Citrus Open began in 1966, and was played at the Rio Pinar golf club in Orlando. Palmer had purchased the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in 1976, and the tournament moved there in 1979 as the Bay Hill Citrus Classic. The Tournament’s first five years was as a full field open format. It became an invitational in 1984. Over the years, the tournament has been sponsored by the Citrus growers, Nestle, Hertz, Cooper Tires and MasterCard.

The tournament benefits the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.

With the passing of Arnold Palmer in 2016, the tournament has named five new hosts: Graeme McDowell, Anika Sorenstam, Peter Jacobsen, Curtis Strange and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. The group will handle the duties usually assumed by Palmer, such as hosting pro-am parties and awarding the trophies.

The 2017 winner receives $1.566 million and a three-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. A win usually earns players a two year exemption.

Tiger Woods has won the tournament eight times—including four in a row from 2000 to 2003. Bay Hill represents nearly ten percent of his Tour wins. Any time Tiger tees it up at Bay Hill, you can expect a win.

The low tournament was Payne Stewart’s 264 in 1987.

A list of Arnold Palmer Invitational Winners Follows:

Year Player Score To par Margin
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
2020Tyrrell Hatton284-41 stroke
2019 Francesco Molinari 276 −12 2 strokes
2018 Rory McIlroy 270 −18 3 strokes
2017 Marc Leishman 277 −11 1 stroke
2016 Jason Day 271 −17 1 stroke
2015 Matt Every (2) 269 −19 1 stroke
2014 Matt Every 275 −13 1 stroke
2013 Tiger Woods (8) 275 −13 2 strokes
2012 Tiger Woods (7) 275 −13 5 strokes
2011 Martin Laird 280 −8 1 stroke
2010 Ernie Els (2) 277 −11 2 strokes
2009 Tiger Woods (6) 275 −5 1 stroke
2008 Tiger Woods (5) 270 −10 1 stroke
2007 Vijay Singh 272 −8 2 strokes
Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard
2006 Rod Pampling 274 −14 1 stroke
2005 Kenny Perry 276 −12 2 strokes
2004 Chad Campbell 270 −18 6 strokes
Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires
2003 Tiger Woods (4) 269 −19 11 strokes
2002 Tiger Woods (3) 275 −13 4 strokes
2001 Tiger Woods (2) 273 −15 1 stroke
2000 Tiger Woods 270 −18 4 strokes
1999 Tim Herron 274 −14 Playoff
Bay Hill Invitational presented by Office Depot
1998 Ernie Els 274 −14 4 strokes
1997 Phil Mickelson 272 −16 3 strokes
1996 Paul Goydos 275 −13 1 stroke
Nestle Invitational
1995 Loren Roberts (2) 272 −16 2 strokes
1994 Loren Roberts 275 −13 1 stroke
1993 Ben Crenshaw 280 −8 2 strokes
1992 Fred Couples 269 −19 9 strokes
1991 Andrew Magee  203* −13 2 strokes
1990 Robert Gamez 274 −14 1 stroke
1989 Tom Kite (2) 278 −6 Playoff
Hertz Bay Hill Classic
1988 Paul Azinger 271 −13 5 strokes
1987 Payne Stewart 264 −20 3 strokes
1986 Dan Forsman  202* −11 1 stroke
1985 Fuzzy Zoeller 275 −9 2 strokes
Bay Hill Classic
1984 Gary Koch (2) 272 −12 Playoff
1983 Mike Nicolette 283 −1 Playoff
1982 Tom Kite 278 −6 Playoff
1981 Andy Bean 266 −18 7 strokes
1980 Dave Eichelberger 279 −5 3 strokes
Bay Hill Citrus Classic
1979 Bob Byman 278 −6 Playoff
Florida Citrus Open
1978 Mac McLendon 271 −17 2 strokes
1977 Gary Koch 274 −14 2 strokes
1976 Hale Irwin 270 −18 Playoff
1975 Lee Trevino 276 −12 1 stroke
1974 Jerry Heard (2) 273 −15 3 strokes
1973 Buddy Allin 265 −23 8 strokes
1972 Jerry Heard 276 −12 2 strokes
Florida Citrus Invitational
1971 Arnold Palmer 270 −18 1 stroke
1970 Bob Lunn 271 −17 1 stroke
Florida Citrus Open Invitational
1969 Ken Still 278 −10 1 stroke
1968 Dan Sikes 274 −14 1 stroke
1967 Julius Boros 274 −10 1 stroke
1966 Lionel Hebert 279 −5 2 strokes
* rain-shortened to 54 holes
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