FOUR-TIME MAJOR WINNER RORY MCILROY RETURNING TO BAY HILL TO DEFEND HIS TITLE
World No. 1 Justin Rose, 2018 tournament ambassador Rickie Fowler also commit to Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Rory McIlroy said his victory in the 40thArnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard last year was one of the most meaningful of his career. No surprise, then, that he is among the early commitments to the 41st edition of the premiere invitational tournament March 4-10 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
Ranked No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, McIlroy fired a final-round 8-under-par 64 on Palmer’s famed Championship Course and rallied to a three-stroke victory over Bryson DeChambeau. The win was the 14th of his career on the PGA TOUR and was achieved with a masterful charge that the late legend would have loved.
“Obviously last year’s victory was memorable for so many reasons,” said McIlroy. “I am so proud to return to Mr. Palmer’s course as the defending champion and look forward to a great week of golf and continuing to honor a legend of the game.”
McIlroy will make his fourth appearance in the tournament.
Finishing in third place last year was England’s Justin Rose, the former U.S Open champion and Olympic gold medalist, who has since ascended to No. 1 in the world and won last week’s PGA TOUR Farmers Insurance Open. Rose also has committed to the tournament, and will be joined by popular TOUR player and World No. 11 Rickie Fowler, who a year ago enjoyed a dual role as a competitor and as one of the tournament ambassadors, stepping into several of the traditional roles previously held by Mr. Palmer.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the tournament that bears the name of golf legend, Arnold Palmer, whose name is associated with greatness. 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.
About the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard will hold its 41st annual tournament at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge March 4-10, 2019. The tournament 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, particularly those with serious health challenges, and locally supports Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.
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