Golf legend and host Arnold Palmer will be celebrating the 30 th year of the PGA TOUR event at his Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida, with prize money of $5.8 million including $1,044,000 to the winner ' a far cry from the total purse of $250,000 for the first tournament at Bay Hill in 1979.
Thirteen of the past 14 winners at Bay Hill who are still playing the PGA TOUR are in the field including defending champion Vijay Singh, fourtime champion Woods (2000, 2003) and Mickelson (1997). Only Ernie Els (1998) is absent. The others are Dan Forsman (1986), Paul Azinger (1988), Robert Gamez (1990), Andrew Magee (1991), Fred Couples (1992), Paul Goydos (1996), Tim Herron (1999), Chad Campbell (2004), Kenny Perry (2005), and Rod Pampling (2006).
Masters champion Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk, the latter ranked eighth in the world, are also committed to the Arnold Palmer Invitational along with internatonal stars such as Stephen Ames, Stuart Appleby, Woody Austin, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Niclas Fasth, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Charles Howell III, Trevor Immelman, Hunter Mahan, Aaron Oberholser, Geoff Ogilvy, Ian Poulter, Andres Romero, Scott Verplank, Boo Weekley and Lee Westwood.
John Daly, Tom Lehman, Lee Janzen and Colin Montgomerie were among the 20 players receiving sponsor exemptions in the field, which currently has 120 players. Alternates will be added to the field only if there are withdrawals, to reach the minimum of 120 players for the tournament.