|Bay Hill Classic - March 13, 2006
BAY HILL INVITATIONAL
PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD
Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge
Par: 36-36—72 Yards: 7,267
2005 Champion: Kenny Perry (276, -12)
Purse: $5,500,000 Winner: $990,000
Unfortunately, Kenny Perry won't be able to defend the title this week. The Kentucky resident underwent surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and will be sidelined approximately one month.
The Bay Hill field features seven players from the top 10 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking. That group includes Tiger Woods (No. 1), the tournament’s four-time champion, Vijay Singh (No. 2); Retief Goosen (No. 3), Ernie Els, (No. 5), a former Bay Hill winner; Sergio Garcia (No. 6), Jim Furyk (No. 8) and Adam Scott (No. 9).
This will be the TOUR’s 41st visit to Orlando for the Bay Hill Invitational. It is the 28th stop at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Next year the tournament will be named the Arnold Palmer Invitational in honor of the longtime tournament host.
- While the Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard has always enjoyed a very international field, only one player born outside the U.S. has won the tournament in its 40-year existence — Ernie Els in 1998.
- On the other hand, don’t be shocked if an international player wins this week — there are 18 countries outside the U.S. represented by 40 players.
- You might want to watch for Davis Love III this week. He’s never won at Bay Hill, but he’s been second on three occasions (1989, 1993, 2000) and has seven Top-10 finishes in the event.
- Jeff Gove had a career-best T7 last week at The Honda Classic and earned $171,417. In his previous 68 PGA TOUR starts he’d earned $459,123. His payday last week equaled 37% of his previous career earnings.
- The top three players in Driving Distance on the PGA TOUR are all rookies. Bubba Watson leads the way with a 320.9 average while J.B. Holmes is second at 313.3 and Camilo Villegas third with a 310.1 average. Another rookie, Robert Garrigus, is seventh at 305.0.
- Lucas Glover is very quietly having a very strong season. The winner last fall at the FUNAI Classic, the 26-year old Glover has made the cut in six of seven starts this season with four Top-10 finishes. He’s currently 15th on the money list with $826,874.
- Tom Kite’s victory at the AT&T Classic last week was the 10th of his PGA TOUR/Champions Tour career in the state of California.
- Last week we mentioned Gil Morgan’s amazing record in Los Angeles and he added to his credentials with a runner-up finish at the AT&T Classic. Morgan now has 15 Top-10 finishes in the city, including five wins, three seconds and three thirds.
- Allen Doyle has compiled a very strong record at the Toshiba Classic. In seven starts in the event, Doyle has six Top 10s, including a victory in 2000 and two runner-up efforts.
- It’s an even-numbered year so don’t look for a first-time winner this week at the Toshiba Classic. The last odd-numbered years were won by first-timers — Gary McCord in 1999, Jose Maria Canizares in 2001, Rodger Davis in 2003 and Mark Johnson last year.
- The Class of 2005 continues to impress on the PGA TOUR this year. To date, 11 members of the class are ranked among the Top 125 money winners with three among the Top 35.
- Nine players made the cut in all three international events this
season — Steven Alker, Ryan Armour, Joe Daley, Jason Dufner, Matt Hendrix, Andrew Johnson, Jim McGovern, Parker McLachlin and Johnson Wagner.
- Paul Sheehan, who won the Jacob’s Creek Open Championship last month, will be playing this week on the PGA TOUR after receiving a sponsor exemption into the Bay Hill Invitational. He’ll make his U.S. debut on the Nationwide Tour next week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
- Jim Rutledge, who won the ING New Zealand PGA Championship recently, has continued his hot play during the Nationwide Tour’s break by finishing T2 and T3 in Canadian Tour events the last two weeks.