Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard will feature 25 of the top 50 players in World Ranking
The 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard will feature defending champion Ernie Els, six-time champion Tiger Woods, and current major winners Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell when the 33rd annual PGA TOUR event is held March 21-27 at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
Nine former winners at Bay Hill are entered. Woods had four consecutive victories from 2000 through 2003, then won in 2008 and 2009, but did not defend last year. Mickelson won in 1997. Among the other former winners is Andy Bean, the 1981 champion who still shares the course record of 62 (with Greg Norman). The others entered are Robert Gamez, Tim Herron, Andrew Magee, Rod Pampling and Vijay Singh.
Twenty-five of the top 50 players on the World Ranking are entered, led by fourth-ranked McDowell, the U.S. Open champion, and sixth-ranked Mickelson, the Masters champion. Woods is listed between them on the World Ranking, holding fifth place.
Els is ranked No. 13 in the world. Other highly-ranked players in the field include No. 11 Dustin Johnson, No. 12 Jim Furyk, No. 14 Ian Poulter, No. 17 Bubba Watson, No. 18 Hunter Mahan and No. 25 Edoardo Molinari, who shared second place at Bay Hill last year with Kevin Na, two strokes behind Els.
Also in the field from the top of the World Ranking are No. 26 Charl Schwartzel, No. 27 Robert Allenby, No. 29 Rickie Fowler and No. 31 Justin Rose. Young Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa returns, ranked No. 44 in the world, along with No. 47 Camilo Villegas.
Mark Wilson, ranked first in the 2011 FedExCup points race, is entered along with Jhonatton Vegas, the young Venezuelan who holds second place, and a local favorite, D.A. Points, who is in fifth place. Seven of the top 12 are entered.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard will be played over four rounds for $6 million in prize money ($1,080,000 to the winner) starting Thursday. There will be Pro-Am competitions at Bay Hill Monday and Wednesday, while Tuesday will be a practice day.
For tickets to the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard or for more information, call the Bay Hill Club ticket office at 407-876-7774 or toll free at 1-866-764-4843, or visit us on the Internet atwww.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com. Tournament proceeds benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.
2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard Field
K. J. Choi
Brendon de Jonge
Charles Howell III
Billy Hurley III
Richard S. Johnson
Zach Johnson Skip Kendall
Kyle M. Stanley
Bo Van Pelt