Greatest Arnold Palmer Invitational momentsMarch 14, 2018 The Scoop
NCG celebrates the King's legacy with a look back at the most memorable moments from the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational will be played this week for the second time without its leading man.
The iconic seven-time major winner died in September 2016 at the age of 87.
However, he has left a legacy in so many different aspects of the game. And one close to his heart was the Arnold Palmer Invitational, held annually at his beloved Bay Hill Club in Florida.
There have been so many memorable moments from the tournament down the years. James Broadhurst picks out nine of the best…
Sergio up a tree
Hats off to Sergio Garcia’s ingenuity at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
El Nino was forced to attempt a miraculous recovery shot after his ball became lodged in a tree.
Most club golfers would take a penalty drop but crafty Sergio decided to pull off a one-handed shot while standing backwards in a tree:
Unfortunately, Garcia injured his shoulder in the process and was forced to withdraw from the tournament.
A vintage Tiger moment
Arguably the best ever finish at Bay Hill. Who can forget this?
You can read more in our Throwback Thursday feature this week.
A rocky landing for Sneds
Brandt Snedeker treated spectators at the 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational to a shot of pure fluky brilliance.
The American lined up his second effort on the infamous par-4 18th, which is guarded by water, and… well, just take a look:
Tiger up to his old tricks again
A 25-foot putt on the last to win the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational. A tough ask for anyone, right?
Well, not if your name is Tiger Woods.
The then World No. 1 was chasing a fifth straight PGA Tour win and nothing was going to stand in his way, not even ultra-consistent Bart Bryant who was the clubhouse leader after finishing 68-68-68-67…
A shot fit for a King
Brandt Snedeker has already demonstrated one way to find the green on the tricky 18th at Bay Hill, but in 2004, Arnold Palmer, at the age of 74, showed he still had a few tricks up his sleeve.
Playing the last hole in his final tournament at Bay Hill, Palmer found the middle of the fairway with his driver from the tee.
He then surprisingly opted for the big dog again for his second shot and fired a low stinger down the left side and onto the putting surface.
A fitting way for the King to say farewell to the tournament he held so close to his heart.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) March 14, 2017
Every goes back-to-back
It’s fair to say that Matt Every loves Bay Hill. After winning his first PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014, Every successfully defended his title the following year, posting a final round 66 to hold off Henrik Stenson by one shot.
In fact, if it weren’t for his Bay Hill heroics, Every might not have still been out playing on the PGA Tour now. His total career earnings amount to $8,391,022; over 25% of that has been solely earned at Bay Hill.
Vintage Tiger sinks O’Hair on 18th to win
In just his third start since having knee surgery, Tiger returned to Bay Hill in 2009 to rewrite the record books.
Entering the final round five shots adrift of Sean O’Hair, Tiger clawed his way back and was standing on the 18th tee tied for the lead. O’Hair could only make par, but Tiger, with a 12-footer left in impending darkness, rolled the putt in to claim his sixth Bay Hill title.
Cody Gribble faces up to alligator
In 2017, Cody Gribble summoned his inner Steve Irwin as he fancied his chances with the local gator.
Or maybe the imminent missed cut went straight to his head?
2015 the year of the Albatross
An albatross is a very rare feat in golf – but in the 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational, we had two! First up, Daniel Berger made a two on the par-5 6th hole in the third round.
Then, Zach Johnson stepped up in the final round to make a two on the par-5 16th.
Just make sure you ignore the commentary, because a double-eagle ≠ albatross, okay?