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March 6, 2024

PGA TOUR’s Elite Set to Battle at Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the PGA TOUR’s fourth Signature Event of the season gets set to tee off Thursday morning, there is no shortage of top talent in the field for the 59th annual Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
The limited field of 69 players features 44 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including 16 major championship winners and four players who have won previously at Bay Hill Club & Lodge – among them world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy.
Combine the strength of the field, the challenge posed by one of the PGA TOUR’s toughest golf courses, and the pressure of playing in a tournament named for one of the game’s legends, and you have the recipe for a truly special week.
“The best part, I would say, is probably playing on Arnie’s property, seeing all the fans, seeing the iconic umbrella,” said world No. 6 Xander Schauffele when meeting with the media early this week. “It’s pretty wild to think about his last win coming in 1973, and we’re 51 years removed from that, and it still feels like he’s sort of here with us.”
Added world No. 34 Will Zalatoris: “It’s a beast of a golf course, for one. We always joke about how the week gets harder and harder. By Sunday, everyone’s always kind of joking about how Arnie’s smiling from heaven watching the carnage.
“It means a lot to me (to be playing here). Even though I never got to meet (Palmer), he has meant a lot to me personally and my career and led me to Wake Forest. So it’s a fun week to come here and spend some time with Amy and the family.”
The Arnold Palmer Invitational features a purse of $20 million, with $4 million and 700 FedExCup points awarded to the 2024 champion. As one of the three player-hosted invitationals among the PGA TOUR’s Signature Events, the tournament features a cut after the second round to the top 50 players and ties, and any additional players within 10 stokes of the lead.
Defending champion Kurt Kitayama returns to the scene of his first PGA TOUR victory touting an increased level of confidence and plenty of lasting memories from a career-defining week.
“One thing that was really cool is when my mom visited in Vegas, and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, here’s the cardigan.’ And I turned around and the next thing you know she’s wearing it, and she’s all smiling. That was a really cool moment.”
Eric Cole will play in the API for the second time after winning the Arnold Palmer Award as the PGA TOUR’s Rookie of the Year last season, when he registered seven top-10s, including two-runner-up finishes. As the son of two former professional golfers who played in Palmer’s era, he had the opportunity to spend time with the golf legend while growing up and has many fond memories.
“I remember watching him hit balls a lot, and playing a decent amount of golf with him,” Cole said. “It was just really special to be around him. There’s a club room downstairs at Bay Hill, and watching him regrip clubs and work on his clubs was really cool to see firsthand.”
David Ford, a junior at the University of North Carolina, earned a sponsor exemption by winning the vote of his peers at the 2023 Palmer Cup. Since 2017, the winning team has voted for one individual to receive an exemption into the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Ford will be making his third PGA TOUR start and first of the season.


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