ORLANDO, Fla. (Wednesday, March 1, 2023) – Scottie Scheffler is back to defend his title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, and the World No. 2 will have plenty of competition, as nine of the top 10 and 27 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking descend on Bay Hill Club & Lodge this week.
The 58th annual Arnold Palmer Invitational also features 20 major championship winners and five past API champions - Jason Day (2016), World No. 3 Rory McIlroy (2018), Francesco Molinari (2019), Tyrrell Hatton (2020) and Scheffler.
With an increased purse of $20 million, the tournament will award $3,600,000 and 550 FedExCup points to its 2023 champion.
“I'm excited for the week - it's a golf course I've had success on in the past,” Scheffler said when meeting with the media Wednesday after his pro-am round. “I think I've spoken a little bit about liking the harder golf courses out here, and that's definitely what this place is.”
Scheffler will be part of a featured group in Thursday’s opening round made up entirely of 2022 major champions – he'll be joined by PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, teeing off No. 10 at 7:38 a.m.
Last year, Scheffler played a flawless back nine Sunday and held on for a one-stroke victory over three other players.
Scheffler shot 70-73-68-72----283 to edge Hatton, third-round co-leader Billy Horschel and Viktor Hovland, who each mounted a legitimate challenge for the eventual champion. Scheffler’s win at API was followed by a victory at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, earning him his first No. 1 ranking. He went on to win The Masters Tournament and was named the 2021-22 PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Scheffler most recently defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open, returning briefly to No. 1 in the world.
“I would say it's pretty difficult to kind of put in perspective,” Scheffler said of his stretch of success that started shortly before his victory at last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. “It's kind of hard to describe the run, but it's definitely been a lot of fun, and I'm hoping to keep improving and keep playing good golf.”
Thirty-eight players in the field have participated in the Arnold Palmer Cup collegiate tournament, including Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Horschel, Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris. Also included in the AP Cup alumni count are sponsor exemptions Ludvig Aberg, Pierceson Coody and Justin Suh.
Aberg is a standout senior at Texas Tech and the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup exemption. Coody, a 2020 and 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup participant, is a graduate of the University of Texas and a two-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour this season. Suh, a standout amateur at USC, was a member of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup U.S. team and was voted by his peers to receive an exemption into the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational.