It is officially Arnold Palmer Invitational week in Orlando. While the City Beautiful is a golf mecca all year around, there is particular interest paid to the city by everyone in the sport when "The Arnie" comes around on the calendar.
Orlando Golf Tournament play begins Thursday and runs through the weekend, but there is a bevy of events leading up to the PGA Tour's best hitting the links. This includes Wednesday's pro-am tournament, where several names that will play the weekend team up with amateur players from the community and other top stars from the world of sports like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and retired two-time Major League Baseball All-Star A.J. Pierzynski.
Golf Tournaments In Orlando | Arnold Palmer Invitational 2019
While those are certainly some marquee names, the main headliner of API week as he is at any event he enters is eight-time tournament champion Tiger Woods. In addition to his winning ways on the course, his friendship with the late Mr. Palmer and his status as a former Orlando resident has always made this a special week for Woods.
(UPDATE: Woods pulled out of the tournament Monday morning, citing a neck strain.)
Some of the other more prominent names in the field include defending tournament champion Rory McIlroy. world number two player Justin Rose and fan favorite Rickie Fowler. 1997 Bay Hill champion Phil Mickelson is returning for his first time since 2013 and 2016 winner Jason Day is another former major winner and world number one player that fans will recognize.
Other players participating who are ranked in the current top ten of the World Golf Rankings are Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Francesco Molinari.
This is the 40th year that the tournament has an association with Palmer. He originally brought the Florida Citrus Open to his Bay Hill Club in 1979 and its success throughout the years is part of his lasting legacy in Central Florida.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has also grown to become one of the most lucrative events on tour and this year's purse is $9.1 million.
Feature Image Provided By Golf Channel & Getty Images.