It’s time for the Arnold Palmer Invitational (application programming interface isn’t the only API in town), and this can only mean that it’s time to watch our favorite video of Tiger and the King because everybody likes hat throws and awkward old man hugs!
About the Sponsor
One of my favorite parts of the API is that the name doesn’t include the biggest sponsor of the tournament — MasterCard. The full name of the event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, but nobody includes the MasterCard portion of the name, not even the tournament website url — arnoldpalmerinvitational.com.
The most interesting thing about MasterCard is their logo and that it isn’t that nice clean symbol that we’re all used to seeing on the credit cards and in their ads.
No, in fact it’s actually this thing. It’s apparently been their official logo since 2006. Don’t know what’s more impressive: 1) how ugly that logo it, or 2) how I had no idea that it’s been their official logo for 9 years now.
About the Course
Length: 7,419 yards
Elevation Change: Not much, but a little
Matt Every bogeyed the final two holes to “hold off” a charging Keegan Bradley. More interestingly is how Adam Scott faded after holding a 7 shot lead with 36 holes to go. After opening with a 62, Scott tumbled down out of first with a closing 76.
Tiger Stat of the Week — 2 Wins per Name
When appropriate, I figure I should include a stat about everyone’s (well, many people at least) favorite professional golfer. No tournament is better suited for a TigerStat™ than the Arnie Invitational since Tiger has won the event 8 (!) times. He’s won so many times that the tournament has had 4 different names from his first win in 2000 to his last win in 2013 (Bay Hill Invitational -> Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires -> Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard -> Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard). That’s two wins per tournament name!
On another note, his winner’s share in 2000 was a (measly) $540,000. That’s less than Keegan Bradley got last year for getting second ($669,000) after losing by 1 shot to Matt Every. Think of how many credit card points you could get buying things with a MasterCard with that extra 100ish grand!
What to Watch For
The Arnold Palmer Drink! — If I did a Buzzfeed style article titled “10 Best ‘This is SportCenter’ commercials you won’t believe!”, this video would be number 1 for sure.
Getting confused as to whether you’re on the front 9 or the back 9 — The 3rd and 11th holes at Bay Hill are distinct from other holes for being doglegs to the left around a lake that comes into play off the tee and around the green. However, they are not distinct from each other because they’re pretty much the exact same hole. One of the foolproof ways to distinguish which side of the course you’re on if to figure out how many holes you’ve played since you last saw the clubhouse.
Drivable par 5s — Stealing this from last year’s preview, rumor has it that Bubba Watson has taken on this challenge in a practice round by knocking it over the green with his drive. And by rumor I mean that I thought I heard that once, but can’t find anything else on the internet confirming it. Driving a par 5 is quite the risk/reward shot; you’re either chipping for a double eagle, or hitting 3 from 600 yards away.
Exemptions — Being an invitational means that people who are otherwise not “worthy” get to play! Here’s a full list from the tournament website with highlights below.
Lucas Glover (2009 US Open Champion)
Ben Curtis (2003 British Open Champion)
Stewart Cink (2009 British Open Champion)
M.J. Maguire (2014 Southern Amateur champion, shoutout to amateurs in the field)
Sam Saunders (Champion of being Arnold Palmer’s Grandson. Though, to be fair, he’s earned the spot now after finishing well on the Web.com tour last year and actually being a member of the PGA Tour)
Arnold Palmer (the dude)? — about $675 million net worth
Arnold Palmers (the drink)? — about 2.2¢ / fl oz at WalMart.com
Round of golf at Bay Hill? — $150 on the weekends
Winning The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard? — Priceless… Nah it’s like a little over $1.1 million.