The PGA Tour remains in Florida this week for the fourth and final leg of its “Florida Swing,” Matt Every is the defending champion at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill.

Lowdown:
The PGA Tour remains in Florida this week for the fourth and final leg of its “Florida Swing,” Matt Every is the defending champion at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational began life in 1966 as the Florida Citrus Open Invitational. In 1979 the tournament became the Bay Hill Citrus Classic and, by 1996, was known as the Bay Hill Invitational. Since 2007 Arnold Palmer has hosted the event.

It’s a tournament that’s been won by some famous players over the years. Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin, Payne Stewart, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson have all been victorious. Tiger Woods won four times in a row from 2000 then again in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Last year, Matt Every came out on top, finishing one clear of fellow American Keegan Bradley.

Rory McIlroy makes his debut in the tournament this season and is looking forward to the challenge of Bay Hill.

“What Arnold Palmer has done for our game and what he’s done for the PGA TOUR, it was about time that I showed up there and played in his tournament,” said the World Number 1.

The course at Bay Hill was designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee in 1961, though Arnold Palmer completed a redesign in 2009 that added two shots to the par and repositioned almost every bunker. The layout has hosted 32 PGA Tour events over the years. It used to be ranked as one of the very hardest courses on the PGA Tour circuit but the pros have been finding the track steadily easier in recent years. Last season the average score was less than 0.5 a shot over par – the lowest since the re-design.

There have been further changes for this year and these too should make scoring easier for the world’s best. Fairways have been widened and landing areas on the greens made larger. The bunkers have been filled with a new type of sand designed to prevent plugged lies.

The weather should be relatively kind this week with only moderate winds forecast. There may be some rain in the vicinity but, with luck, it won’t be enough to disrupt play.

Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Date: Mar 19-22
Course stats: par 72, 7,419 yards
Purse: $6,300,000 Winner: $1,134,000
Defending Champion: Matt Every (-13)

Player Watch:
Henrik Stenson – Fourth place in his last two PGA Tour starts combined with a tied fifth in this event last year points to a good week for the Swede.

J.B Holmes – One of the form players on the PGA Tour right now. He was tied second at Doral and has a superb record in this event. He’s made the cut in all eight of his starts. He was tied 10th here last year.

Jason Kokrak – He was fourth in this event last year and tied seventh last week. He’s a long hitter and that’s a key to success at Bay Hill.

Key hole: Key hole: 18th. At 458 yards, it’s not the length of this par-4 that will intimidate the players, it’s the difficulty of the approach. Water and rocks wait in front of the green and anything drifting right could end up wet.

Skills required: Mastering the par-5s. The winner at Bay Hill tends to play the long holes well.

Henrik Stenson, What’s in the bag?: