ORLANDO, Fla. (February 11, 2020) – Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who just reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, defending champion Francesco Molinari of Italy, and Rickie Fowler, a former tournament ambassador, head the list of players who have committed to competing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, March 2-8 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
The 2018 winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, McIlroy, 30, won four times last year on the PGA TOUR and now has 18 TOUR titles to go along with nine international victories. The four-time major champion is joined, thus far, by Xander Schauffele as players ranked in the top-10 in the world who have committed to this year’s event. Schauffele is No. 9 in the world.
Fowler was a tournament ambassador for the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The five-time TOUR winner is ranked 26th in the world.
World No. 19 Marc Leishman of Australia, who is serving as a tournament ambassador this year, is among five past winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational to commit. He won the 2017 title, one of his five career PGA TOUR victories. The other past champions who have made early commitments include Molinari, the 2018 Open champion who is No. 24 in the world, two-time winner Matt Every and Robert Gamez.
The field also will include a number of past major champions, including No. 14 Adam Scott of Australia, No. 31 Danny Willett of England and No. 45 Bubba Watson, all who have won the Masters, Zach Johnson, winner of the Masters and Open Championship, and Orlando resident No. 47 Graeme McDowell, a former U.S. Open champion.
Tommy Fleetwood of England, currently No. 11 in the world, and No. 18 Bryson DeChambeau round out the list of world top 20 who have committed thus far.
This year marks the 42nd tournament that bears the name of golf legend, Arnold Palmer. 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 $9.3 million, one of the richest on the PGA TOUR, and the winner will receive a three-year TOUR exemption instead of two years. The tournament will once again be the first event in The Open Qualifying Series in the USA, meaning three spots for The 149th Open are up for grabs to the leading players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties.
About the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, March 5-8, 2020, is Central Florida’s signature sporting event and a highlight of the PGA TOUR, attracting the greatest names in golf. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, whose mission is to create a brighter future for our youth - through children’s health, character development and nature-focused wellness.
Dana Gordon, BZA PR on behalf of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, email@example.com; 856-397-2917
Liz McCollum, BZA PR on behalf of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, firstname.lastname@example.org; 813-421-0550