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 $1.566 million and a three-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. A win usually earns players a two year exemption.
Tiger Woods has won the tournament eight times—including four in a row from 2000 to 2003. Bay Hill represents nearly ten percent of his Tour wins. Any time Tiger tees it up at Bay Hill, you can expect a win.
The low tournament was Payne Stewart’s 264 in 1987.
|Year||Player||Country||Score||To Par||1st Prize ($)||Purse ($)|
|2018||Rory McIlroy||N. Ireland||270||-18||1,602,000||8,900,000|
|2015||Matt Every (2)||US||269||-19||1,134,000||6,300,000|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard|
|2010||Ernie Els||South Africa||277||-11||1,080,000||6,000,000|
|2009||Tiger Woods||United States||275||-5||1,080,000||6,000,000|
|2008||Tiger Woods||United States||270||-10||1,044,000||5,800,000|
|Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard|
|2005||Kenny Perry||United States||276||-12||900,000||5,000,000|
|2004||Chad Campbell||United States||270||-18||900,000||5,000,000|
|Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires|
|2003||Tiger Woods||United States||269||-19||810,000||4,500,000|
|2002||Tiger Woods||United States||275||-13||720,000||4,000,000|
|Bay Hill Invitational|
|2001||Tiger Woods||United States||273||-15||630,000||3,500,000|
|2000||Tiger Woods||United States||270||-18||540,000||3,000,000|
|1999||Tim Herron||United States||274||-14||450,000||2,500,000|
|1998||Ernie Els||South Africa||274||-14||360,000||2,000,000|
|1997||Phil Mickelson||United States||272||-16||270,000||1,500,000|
|1996||Paul Goydos||United States||275||-13||216,000||1,200,000|
|1995||Loren Roberts||United States||272||-16||216,000||1,200,000|
|1994||Loren Roberts||United States||275||-13||216,000||1,200,000|
|1993||Ben Crenshaw||United States||280||-8||180,000||1,000,000|
|1992||Fred Couples||United States||269||-19||180,000||1,000,000|
|1991||Andrew Magee||United States||203*||-13||180,000||1,000,000|
|1990||Robert Gamez||United States||274||-14||162,000||900,000|
|1989||Tom Kite||United States||278||-6||144,000||800,000|
|Hertz Bay Hill Classic|
|1988||Paul Azinger||United States||271||-13||135,000||750,000|
|1987||Payne Stewart||United States||264||-20||108,000||600,000|
|1986||Dan Forsman||United States||202 (54 holes)||-11||90,000||500,000|
|1985||Fuzzy Zoeller||United States||275||-9||90,000||500,000|
|Bay Hill Classic|
|1984||Gary Koch||United States||272||-12||72,000||400,000|
|1983||Mike Nicolette||United States||283||-1||63,000||350,000|
|1982||Tom Kite||United States||278||-6||54,000||300,000|
|1981||Andy Bean||United States||266||-18||54,000||300,000|
|1980||Dave Eichelberger||United States||279||-5||54,000||300,000|
|Bay Hill Citrus Classic|
|1979||Bob Byman||United States||278||-6||45,000||250,000|
|Florida Citrus Open|
|1978||Mac McLendon||United States||271||-17||40,000||200,000|
|1977||Gary Koch||United States||274||-14||40,000||200,000|
|1976||Hale Irwin||United States||270||-18||40,000||200,000|
|1975||Lee Trevino||United States||276||-12||40,000||200,000|
|1974||Jerry Heard||United States||273||-15||30,000||150,000|
|1973||Buddy Allin||United States||265||-23||30,000||150,000|
|1972||Jerry Heard||United States||276||-12||30,000||150,000|
|Florida Citrus Invitational|
|1971||Arnold Palmer||United States||270||-18||30,000||150,000|
|1970||Bob Lunn||United States||271||-17||30,000||150,000|
|Florida Citrus Open Invitational|
|1969||Ken Still||United States||278||-10||23,000||115,000|
|1968||Dan Sikes||United States||274||-14||23,000||115,000|
|1967||Julius Boros||United States||274||-10||23,000||115,000|
|1966||Lionel Hebert||United States||279||-5||21,000||110,000|