2007 runner-up Rocco Mediate also among 20 invited
Past major championship winners John Daly, Tom Lehman and Lee Janzen are among the 20 players who have received sponsor exemptions to the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, scheduled for the week of March 10-16 at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida.
Rocco Mediate, who was second in 2007 by two strokes to champion Vijay Singh, is also on the list for the coveted playing spots for the 30-year celebration of the PGA TOUR event hosted by golf legend Arnold Palmer,
who brought the tournament across town from Rio Pinar to his club in 1979
Daly is a fan favorite who won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open Championship, while Janzen won the 1993 and 1998 U. S. Open Championships, and Lehman won the 1996 British Open Championship. Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team captain, also had a top-10 finish here last year, taking a share of fifth place.
The 2007 U.S. Amateur champion, Colt Knost, now a professional, also received an exemption, along with the 2007 Southern Amateur winner, Webb Simpson, still an amateur. Richard Johnson received an exemption as the 2007 Nationwide Tour money leader.
The two exemptions reserved for foreign players went to Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Spain's Pablo Martin.
Others receiving exemptions were Billy Andrade, Robert Damron, Brian Davis, Mike Hulbert, Skip Kendall, Frank Lickliter, D.A. Points, Will MacKenzie, Len Mattiace, Dicky Pride, and Marc Turnesa.
One of the premier stops on the PGA TOUR, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard traditionally draws one of the strongest fields among golf tournaments from around the world. In addition to Singh, the defending champion, an esteemed list of past winners includes Tiger Woods, who won a record four straight at the Bay Hill Club and recently passed Palmer on the all-time PGA TOUR victory list with his 63rd career victory. Other past champions who could return include Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell, Tim Herron, Rod Pampling and Paul Goydos.
For tickets to the 2008 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.