World No. 1 Rory McIlroy Commits to First Tournament Appearance At Bay Hill


Reigning British Open and PGA champion enters Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard

ORLANDO, Fla. - Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, has announced that the has committed to compete in the 37th edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard scheduled for March 16-22.

McIlroy, 25, the reigning British Open and PGA champion, will make his first tournament appearance at Palmer's Championship Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

"I am very pleased that Rory is going to be playing here," Palmer, 85, said. "I have talked to Rory about playing here, and it didn't work into his schedule in the past, but he told me that when it did work into his schedule that he would be here, and he is making good on his word. We look forward to having him."

"I'm delighted to add the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to my 2015 playing schedule," McIlroy said. "Mr. Palmer is the father figure of modern golf, widening its appeal and bringing the game to a new audience. Every playing professional of my generation owes a debt of gratitude to Arnold Palmer."

McIlroy is off to a fast start to begin his 2015 season, winning last week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour after finishing second the week before at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Since winning the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool last July, McIlroy has finished no worse than second in his last seven official world-wide tournament starts.

McIlroy has nine wins on the PGA TOUR, including running off three in a row last year at the Open Championship, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Four of his nine wins are majors, including the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship.

"I think I speak for all golf fans in Orlando and central Florida in offering a warm welcome the world's No. 1 player to Bay Hill Club in a few weeks," said Tournament Director Scott Wellington. "We are very excited to have Rory join what is certain to be a wonderful field of the best players in the world at Mr. Palmer's tournament."

Matt Every is the defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational after his one-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley last year.

For tickets to the 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, call the Bay Hill Club ticket office at 407-876-7774 or toll-free at 1-866-764-4843 or visit Tournament proceeds benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.