ORLANDO, Fla. – This week’s field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of the deepest at Bay Hill in some time, with four out of the top 5 and 14 out of the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Still, there has been some handwringing over those who didn’t make the trip to Arnie’s place in the first event since Palmer died in September, most notably world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
Those decisions to skip the API were likely based on an increasingly crowded schedule, with two World Golf Championships, the API and the Masters in a six-week window.
On Wednesday, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the schedule and if things could be adjusted in the future to allow players more flexibility heading into the Masters.
“[The schedule] is something we'll continue to look at. We want to put this tournament in the best possible position to succeed,” Monahan said. “You can debate whether or not the schedule this year created issues, I would like to focus on the facts and the facts are that we're really pleased with the field we have this year.”
The movement of this month’s WGC from South Florida to Mexico City split the Florida swing, and last year’s shift of the WGC-Dell Match Play to the week after Bay Hill have put extra pressure on players in the spring.