With its latest dates ever – two weeks before the Masters – expectations are high as ticket sales begin today for the 2009 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
The API will be played on the week of March 23-29, the same slot on the PGA Tour schedule occupied until two years ago by The Players Championship and last year by a World Golf Championship event. Those tournaments attracted large numbers of highly ranked players from the World Ranking, playing their way to Augusta.
The 2009 Masters will be on the week of April 6-12.
Tournament Director Scott Wellington said: “We have always had one of the best fields of players in the world, according to the World Ranking, including most of the highest-ranked players. But we believe next year we will have more depth of players who previously have not included us on their schedules.
“We also hope we will get several more higher-ranked players.”
This will be the 31st year of the PGA Tour event which started in 1979 at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. The latest tournament dates previously were March 22-25, 1990, and the earliest dates were February 26-March 1, 1981.
The 2009 API ticket brochure features defending champion Tiger Woods and the theme line for the year: “The Signature of Excitement.” – a reminder of Woods and his fistpumping finale in 2008, when he holed a rousing 24-foot putt on the final green to win by one stroke. Woods posted a pair of 66s on the weekend for a 270 total, 10 under par, and his fifth professional victory at Bay Hill.
“No one knows when Tiger will return, but with Tiger here the excitement would be over the top. Regardless, we believe we will have one of our best fields ever,” Wellington said. For tickets to the 2009 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard or for more information, log on to the tournament web site, www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com or call the ticket office at Bay Hill 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 and Babies.