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February 26, 2019

Past Champion Phil Mickelson Returns to the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard For the First Time Since 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five-time major champion and World No. 20 Phil Mickelson today committed to compete in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, his first start at Bay Hill Club & Lodge since 2013.

 Also among the top players who recently have entered are Jason Day, the 2016 champion, Brooks Koepka, the reigning U.S. Open and PGA champion who is ranked No. 4 in the world, and Bryson DeChambeau, the No. 5 player in the Official World Golf Ranking who finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy a year ago. 

These latest additions give the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard six of the top 10 players in the world and 13 of the top 20.

Mickelson, 48, is a past champion of the premier invitational tournament, winning in 1997 after firing a final-round 7-under-par 65 on the Championship Course for a 16-under 272 total, three strokes ahead of Stuart Appleby. He has competed in the Arnold Palmer Invitational 14 times and has recorded three top-3 finishes and four top-10s. He missed the cut in his last appearance, only the third time he failed to advance to the weekend. 

In 48 career rounds at Bay Hill, Mickelson has a 71.125 stroke average on the par-72 layout designed by the late Arnold Palmer, and he has earned $1,142,820.83 in his 14 appearances. He trails only Tiger Woods, the eight-time winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, on the PGA TOUR career money list with more than $90 million in earnings. 

Mickelson already has a victory this season, winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the fifth time in his career. That win was the 44th of his PGA TOUR career, ranking him eighth on the all-time list, just one behind Walter Hagen. His five major titles include three Masters titles, one PGA Championship and the Open Championship, which he captured in 2013 at Muirfield, in Scotland.

Day, currently 12th in the world, will be making his ninth appearance in the tournament that he won wire-to-wire in 2016 with a 17-under 271 total. He finished tied for 22nd last year. Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors in which he has appeared, will be playing in the event for the third time.  DeChambeau is also playing at Bay Hill for the third time. The California native made his debut in 2016 as an amateur and finished T-27. 

The 41st edition of Palmer’s elite event is scheduled for March 4-10.  Mr. Palmer brought the former Florida Citrus Open to his Bay Hill Club in 1979 and turned it into one of the most elite events in golf. It offers a purse of $9.1 million, one of the richest on the PGA TOUR, and the winner will receive a three-year TOUR exemption instead of two years.  New in 2019, the tournament will be the first event in The Open Qualifying Series USA, meaning three spots for The 148th Open are up for grabs to the leading players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties.


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