Arnold Palmer Invitational Winners and History


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.

YearPlayerCountryScoreTo Par1st Prize ($)Purse ($)
2019Francesco MolinariItaly276-121,638,0009,100,000
2018Rory McIlroyN. Ireland270-181,602,0008,900,000
2017Marc LeishmanAustralia277-111,566,0008,700,000
2016Jason DayAustralia271-171,134,0006,300,000
2015Matt Every (2)US269-191,134,0006,300,000
2014Matt EveryUS275-131,116,0006,200,000
2013Tiger WoodsUS275-131,116,0006,200,000
2012Tiger WoodsUS275-131,080,0006,000,000
2011Martin LairdScotland280-81,080,0006,000,000
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
2010Ernie ElsSouth Africa277-111,080,0006,000,000
2009Tiger WoodsUnited States275-51,080,0006,000,000
2008Tiger WoodsUnited States270-101,044,0005,800,000
2007Vijay SinghFiji272-8990,0005,500,000
Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard
2006Rod PamplingAustralia274-14990,0005,500,000
2005Kenny PerryUnited States276-12900,0005,000,000
2004Chad CampbellUnited States270-18900,0005,000,000
Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires
2003Tiger WoodsUnited States269-19810,0004,500,000
2002Tiger WoodsUnited States275-13720,0004,000,000
Bay Hill Invitational
2001Tiger WoodsUnited States273-15630,0003,500,000
2000Tiger WoodsUnited States270-18540,0003,000,000
1999Tim HerronUnited States274-14450,0002,500,000
1998Ernie ElsSouth Africa274-14360,0002,000,000
1997Phil MickelsonUnited States272-16270,0001,500,000
1996Paul GoydosUnited States275-13216,0001,200,000
Nestle Invitational
1995Loren RobertsUnited States272-16216,0001,200,000
1994Loren RobertsUnited States275-13216,0001,200,000
1993Ben CrenshawUnited States280-8180,0001,000,000
1992Fred CouplesUnited States269-19180,0001,000,000
1991Andrew MageeUnited States203*-13180,0001,000,000
1990Robert GamezUnited States274-14162,000900,000
1989Tom KiteUnited States278-6144,000800,000
Hertz Bay Hill Classic
1988Paul AzingerUnited States271-13135,000750,000
1987Payne StewartUnited States264-20108,000600,000
1986Dan ForsmanUnited States202 (54 holes)-1190,000500,000
1985Fuzzy ZoellerUnited States275-990,000500,000
Bay Hill Classic
1984Gary KochUnited States272-1272,000400,000
1983Mike NicoletteUnited States283-163,000350,000
1982Tom KiteUnited States278-654,000300,000
1981Andy BeanUnited States266-1854,000300,000
1980Dave EichelbergerUnited States279-554,000300,000
Bay Hill Citrus Classic
1979Bob BymanUnited States278-645,000250,000
Florida Citrus Open
1978Mac McLendonUnited States271-1740,000200,000
1977Gary KochUnited States274-1440,000200,000
1976Hale IrwinUnited States270-1840,000200,000
1975Lee TrevinoUnited States276-1240,000200,000
1974Jerry HeardUnited States273-1530,000150,000
1973Buddy AllinUnited States265-2330,000150,000
1972Jerry HeardUnited States276-1230,000150,000
Florida Citrus Invitational
1971Arnold PalmerUnited States270-1830,000150,000
1970Bob LunnUnited States271-1730,000150,000
Florida Citrus Open Invitational
1969Ken StillUnited States278-1023,000115,000
1968Dan SikesUnited States274-1423,000115,000
1967Julius BorosUnited States274-1023,000115,000
1966Lionel HebertUnited States279-521,000110,000

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