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API says goodbye to more big names

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The Arnold Palmer Invitational suffered a blow when world No. 1 Tiger Woods withdrew with a bad back earlier in the week. It took another hit Thursday when the big-bombing Bubba Watson imploded in an 11-over 83 and later withdrew because of allergies. And just when we hoped the event wouldn’t lose any more star power – because let’s be honest, it couldn’t afford to – three more of golf’s biggest draws were sent packing.

Rickie Fowler (73-76), Justin Rose (71-79) and Lee Westwood (75-76) all missed the cut and won’t be around for the weekend at Bay Hill.

Fowler finished T-3 at the API just last year, but has struggled so far this season, having missed the cut four times in his last seven starts.

Rose is a more curious case, being that he finished T-8 last week in Tampa and hasn’t missed a cut since the British Open last July.

Which leaves Westwood somewhere in-between, having missed the cut earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, yet managing a T-46 at the Honda and a T-34 at the WGC-Cadillac in his last two starts.

There is a silver lining, however, in that world No. 2 Adam Scott takes a seven-shot lead into the weekend and looks destined to secure PGA Tour win No. 11.