|Arnold Palmer Invitational - March 23, 2009
ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL
PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,162
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,000,000Winner: $1,080,000
2008 Champion: Tiger Woods (270, -10)
TOUR Media Contacts: John Bush/
Doug Milne/Mark Stevens
Woods Returns to Scene of Dramatic, Winning Putt at Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tied with Bart Bryant going into the 72nd hole of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, Tiger Woods hit his approach shot on the par-4 finishing hole, leaving him with just under a 25-foot putt for the victory. Woods calmly made the putt and celebrated in style as he earned his 64th PGA TOUR title.
Woods returns to the Bay Hill Club and Lodge this week to defend his title after missing eight months of action in both 2008 and 2009 because of knee surgery. The Bay Hill Club and Lodge, site of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, is not far from Woods’ home in Orlando as he plays in his third PGA TOUR event of 2009. Both of Woods’ prior starts have been in World Golf Championships events. He lost in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson, AZ, and tied for ninth two weeks ago at the CA Championship in Miami, FL.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Notes
Three-time major championship winner, Padraig Harrington will return to Bay Hill for the first time since missing the cut in 2000. After a slow start to his 2009 season on the PGA TOUR (two missed cuts and a first-round loss at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship), he is looking to gain momentum as the FedExCup season progresses. As the reigning champion at the last two majors, Harrington has the opportunity to be the first player since Tiger Woods (2000-01) to win three consecutive major championships
Davis Love III will play in his 20th Arnold Palmer Invitational, with the opportunity to remain in the top 50 and earn an exemption into the Masters (Official World Golf Ranking as of next Monday, March 29). He is currently ranked 47th. Prior to missing last year’s Masters, Love had played in 70 consecutive major championships. Love has missed only two cuts at Bay Hill (1988 and 2007) and has finished second three times and third once. Love's most-recent TOUR victory—his 20th—came across town last November at the 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort.
Seventeen-year-old Japanese player Ryo Ishikawa will play his third PGA TOUR event at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Ishikawa is currently the world’s second-highest ranked Japanese golfer (No. 69). By the close of 2008, he had become the youngest-ever golfer to break into the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Ishikawa made his first PGA TOUR cut last week, at the Transitions Championship, where he finished 5-over and in 71st place.
Erik Compton will play in his fourth TOUR event since having his second heart transplant in May 2008. His first heart transplant came when he was 12. Last November, Compton tied for 60th at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic and tied for 44th at this year’s Honda Classic.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has a long-standing tradition of spotting young talent and being among the first to invite them to PGA TOUR events. The tournament also invites champions of the U.S. Amateur and the Southern Amateur. Previous Bay Hill exemptions were given to two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal in 1990 and to a pair of future major champions: Ernie Els of South Africa and Vijay Singh of Fiji. In 2007 and 2008, Webb Simpson was a sponsor exemption (via wins at Southern Amateur). This year’s sponsor exemptions include Ryo Ishikawa and Erik Compton.
Over the years, the Arnold Palmer Invitational has produced some of the most dramatic finishes on the PGA TOUR. A year ago, Tiger Woods rolled in a 24-foot birdie putt on 72nd hole to top Bart Bryant by one stroke. Three years ago, Greg Owen’s three-putt from 3 feet for double bogey on the 71st hole and a bogey on the 72nd hole opened the door for Rod Pampling’s victory. In 2005, Vijay Singh, ranked No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the time, double-bogeyed the 72nd hole, clinching the win for Kenny Perry.