World's Top Golfers at Arnold Palmer Invitational
Presented by MasterCard
A final total of 127 players had made their commitments to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard last night at the deadline for entries. The number equaled the record set in 1995 for the most players in the field since the tournament became an invitational in 1984. The invitation criteria require a minimum of 120 players. The complete list of players is attached.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational is scheduled for the week of March 12-18 at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida. Activities will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday with a shotgun start to the Pro-Am event, followed by the CVS/pharmacy Youth Day and Clinic on the practice range at 4:00 p.m., featuring a PGA Tour player and the Dennis Walters Trick Shot Show.
There will be practice rounds for the professionals on Tuesday, the second Pro-Am day on Wednesday, then the 72-hole PGA Tour event runs from Thursday through Sunday.
There were six late withdrawals, including world No. 2 Jim Furyk, to reduce the field from 133 players. Furyk advised host Arnold Palmer that he was bothered by his left wrist. It is the same wrist on which he had arthroscopic surgery three years ago. The others to withdraw were Fred Funk, Jose Coceres, Angel Cabrera, Matt Kuchar, and Brett Wetterich.
Nevertheless, the Arnold Palmer Invitational will have one of its best fields – if not the best – in the history of the tournament at Bay Hill since 1979. Eight of the top-10 players in the world have entered, starting with Nos. 1 and 3, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, then No. 5 Henrik Stenson, No. 6 Ernie Els, No. 7 Geoff Ogilvy, No. 8 Retief Goosen, No. 9 Vijay Singh and No. 10 Luke Donald.
The final figures will not be known until the next Official World Golf Ranking is released on Monday, but officials have advised that the Arnold Palmer Invitational will probably be close to a par with the Nissan Open, which had the strongest field so far this year. Three of the top-five players in the world are expected at Bay Hill (Nissan had four), 12 of the top-15 (Nissan 11), 22 of the top-30 (Nissan 22), 36 of the top-50 (Nissan 35), and 65 of the top-10 (Nissan 63).
If the figure holds, the 65 players from the top-100 in the world would equal the most at Bay Hill since the methods for determining the World Ranking were revised in 1995. The tournament also had 65 players from the top-100 in 1995 and 1998.
Since 1995, the Bay Hill event has averaged a strength-of-field ranking of No. 9 in the world, behind only the four major championships, three World Golf Championship events, and The Players Championship.
For tickets to the 2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard or for more information, log on to the tournament web site, www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com or call the Bay Hill Club 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 & Babies.