Masters champion Trevor Immelman has never missed the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard since coming to America to play full-time, and Immelman confirmed his seventh consecutive appearance Tuesday with his official commitment to the PGA Tour.
The 3lst annual Arnold Palmer Invitational will be held March 23-29 at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. Tiger Woods is the defending and five-time champion at Bay Hill. Woods also was the runner-up by three strokes to Immelman in the 2008 Masters.
“Besides the majors, there are some tournaments everyone would like to win in their careers. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of those, because of the tournament’s namesake and the tremendous golf course,” said Immelman, now ranked No. 25 in the world. “I have been at Bay Hill every year since I started playing regularly in America, and one of these years I want to be there at the end for Mr. Palmer to shake my hand. That would be a moment to remember.”
Palmer and Immelman share a Masters distinction. Immelman’s 75 in buffeting winds, gusting to 35 miles an hour on the last day, matched Palmer’s score from 1962 for the highest final round by a Masters champion. Immelman tied for 48th in the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational despite his 64 in the second round. His best finish at Bay Hill was his tie for ninth in 2007, when he shot 66 in the first round. He tied for 46th in 2004 and missed the 36-hole cut in his other three appearances.
The 29-year-old South African posted his first American victory in 2006 in the Cialas Western Open and entered 2009 with PGA Tour career earnings over $9 million. He also has six international victories plus the 2003 World Cup with South African teammate Rory Sabbatini.
For tickets or more information on the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, log on to the tournament web site, www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com or call the Bay Hill 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 and Babies.