FRIDAY  | MARCH 8, 2019
by Gary Van Sickle

There’s something you should know about this week’s PGA Tour stop at Bay Hill. Twelve of the world’s top 20-ranked golfers teed it up Thursday. That makes this a strong field for a mere qualifying tournament.

I can almost hear the late Arnold Palmer’s voice asking tersely, “A mere what!?”

Just kidding but only sort of. Technically, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is just another qualifying tournament. Every tournament in golf is a qualifier for something, somewhere.


by Adam Schupak

The Arnold Palmer Cup teams were announced late Wednesday, and the most revealing thing was who won't be playing in the international Ryder Cup-style collegiate event. It wasn't so much who got snubbed but rather who snubbed the annual matches.

Neither of the top two male and female players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – USC's Justin Suh and Cal's Collin Morikawa and Wake Forest's Jennifer Kupcho and Stanford's Andrea Lee, respectively – elected to play in the June 7-9 event at the Alotian Club in Roland, Ark. Nor did Oklahoma State stars Viktor Hovland, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, and Matthew Wolff, Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. All signs point to them making a quick getaway to the play-for-pay world of golf as soon as their pursuit of team and individual glory runs out at the NCAA Championships – May 16-22 for women and May 23-29 for the men.


by Alex Miceli

Who am I?

I have earned $19.3 million in my 24-year PGA Tour career. I have won four times on the Tour. I beat Tiger Woods in a 6-and-4 trouncing at the 1992 U.S. Amateur at Muirfield Village. I shot an even-par 72 in Thursday’s first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where I won in 1999.

Now after all these clues, if you still can’t identify this player, then his nickname, Lumpy, should give it away.


Golfers react to change predictably: With gripes
The protests regarding the drop from the knee basically are because the drop is different. It’s a natural reaction to change.

The ruling juntas erred when the "place the ball" option was not adopted. Now that would have helped us duffers with better lies.



Number of strokes under par Thursday for leader Rafael Cabrera Bello in his debut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Starting on the back nine, Cabrera Bello birdied four of his first six holes and shot 65 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. Cabrera Bello, 34, of Spain, never had led in any round on the PGA Tour and has finished no better than third in 76 career starts.


Withdrew: Jason Day, on the seventh hole of the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., citing a back injury. Day, the 2016 Bay Hill champion, walked off the Bay Hill course after dunking his second shot from 198 yards at the par-5 16th hole into water fronting the green. He stood 2 over through six holes.




Hawk & Rude: Age ... it’s a numbers thing
John Hawkins and Jeff Rude ruminate over Tiger Woods’ attempt to reclaim greatness, and take a stab at explaining the flurry of “older” winners at recent Champions Tour events.

Grill Room Golf Show: From ‘no-name’ to fame
Keith Mitchell won his first PGA Tour event at the Honda Classic, and a south Florida paper headlined him as the “no-name champion.” Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Mitchell’s impressive victory and this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, plus relate some personal experiences with the late Arnold Palmer. Also, Morning Read founder Alex Miceli shares his opinions about the rules flap among some Tour players and the USGA.


The fourth Women’s Golf Day will be held June 4 as organizers announced a partnership with the Annika Foundation, the charitable organization associated with Annika Sorenstam. Women’s Golf Day celebrates women and girls learning golf and being part of the game’s global community. In the past three years, more than 50,000 women and girls from 52 countries have been involved.


Billy Casper Golf has been selected to operate Alhambra (Calif.) Golf Course, the management company announced. The 1956 William Bell-designed course also features a three-level lighted driving range. Alhambra will be BCG’s seventh managed course in California.


Ken DeHart, the director of tennis at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, Calif., has been inducted into the Professional Tennis Registry Hall of Fame. DeHart was honored recently at PTR’s annual awards banquet in Hilton Head Island, S.C. DeHart is one of eight original PTR international master professionals.


Golftec has made two promotions into executive positions. Jeremy Beck was named chief operations officer, and Jon Marquardt was appointed as chief financial officer, the company announced. Golftec offers lessons and club fittings through its 200-plus training centers in the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.


Troon has been selected to manage golf operations for three West Coast clubs in The Bay Club Co.’s portfolio. Troon will oversee operations and agronomy at StoneTree Golf Club in Novato, Boulder Ridge Golf Club in San Jose and Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe.


March 7-10
Symetra: Skyigolf Championship

Charlotte Harbor National GC, North Port, Fla.

European: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Doha (Qatar) GC

PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.

March 8-10
Champions: Hoag Classic

Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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