World's No. 1 golfer has never missed a Bay Hill tournament
It's now official - Tiger Woods will return to defend his title in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, scheduled for next week at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
Woods has won five times at Bay Hill, four consecutive years, 2000 through 2003, and again in 2008. Last year, he sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the final green for a round of 66 and a 270 total to win by one stroke over Bart Bryant. Woods has never missed a tournament at Bay Hill as a professional, and this will be his 13th appearance since starting in 1997. He also played as an amateur in 1994.
Golf historians will note that it was at Bay Hill in 1991 that Woods began his domination of United States Golf Association events. He won the 1991 U.S. Junior Amateur at Bay Hill, then followed with two more U.S. Junior Amateur and three U.S. Amateur titles before joining the PGA Tour in 1996. As a professional, he has won three U.S. Opens, including last year, for a total of nine USGA national championships, a record he shares with Bobby Jones.
Next week will be the first time Woods and Rocco Mediate have appeared in the same tournament since their playoff at the U.S. Open last June at Torrey Pines. Woods had surgery on his left knee after that and did not play again until last month. This will be his third tournament of 2009.
For tickets or more information on the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, log on to the tournament web site, www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com or call the Bay Hill ticket office at 407-876- 7774 or toll free at 1-866-764-4843. Tournament proceeds benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.