Golf Glance: Bay Hill’s $20M purse draws elite field

Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

LAST TOURNAMENT: The Honda Classic (Chris Kirk)
THIS WEEK: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Orlando, Fla., March 2-5
Course: Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Par 72, 7,466 yards)
Purse: $20M (Winner: $3.6M)
Defending Champion: Scottie Scheffler
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 7:15 a.m.-6 p.m.
Twitter: @APinv
NOTES: This is the fourth designated event of the PGA Tour season. It features 43 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings and all 14 winners on tour this season. … Bay Hill ranked as the hardest non-major on tour last season with a scoring average of 1.886 shots over par. … Rahm is the first player to win three times in a calendar year before March 1 since Johnny Miller in 1975. Miller is the last player to win four times before April 1 (1974). … Scheffler and Rory McIlroy have each spent time at No. 1 in the world rankings this year and have opportunities to regain it from Rahm this week. … Scheffler is seeking to successfully defend a title for the second time after winning the Phoenix Open three weeks ago. The last player to successfully defend two titles in a season was Tiger Woods, who did so four times in 2007. … World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay is making his event debut. … Payne Stewart holds the tournament scoring record of 264 set in 1987. Scheffler won with a score of 5-under 283 last year. … Pierceson Coody, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, is in the field after making last week’s cut.
BEST BETS: Rahm (+650 at BetMGM) is coming off a victory at Riviera and has won five of his past nine worldwide starts. … Scheffler (+900) is the defending champion and has finished no worse than T12 in his past seven starts, including a win in Phoenix. … McIlroy (+1000) owns a 70.31 scoring average at Bay Hill, the second-lowest of any player on record (Woods, 69.97). He has finished lower than T13 just once in his past eight event starts. … Max Homa (+1800) is a career-best No. 8 in the world rankings following his runner-up to Rahm at The Genesis and already has two wins this season. … Viktor Hovland (+3000) tied for second last year and has four top-10s in his past 11 worldwide starts. … Tyrrell Hatton (+3300) won the event in 2020 and tied for second last year. … Jason Day (+3300), the 2016 event winner, is riding a streak of three consecutive top-10s. … Chris Kirk (+5500) is coming off his first victory in more than seven years and is one of only two players to record top-10s at Bay Hill each of the past two years, including T5 in 2022.
THIS WEEK: Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande, March 2-5
Course: Grand Reserve Golf Club (Par 72, 7,506 yards)
Purse: $3.8M (Winner: $684,000)
Defending Champion: Ryan Brehm
TV: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET; Saturday, 2:30-5 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
NOTES: The winner receives 300 FedEx Cup points, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in next week’s Players Championship. … Brehm will not defend his title as he is in the field at Bay Hill. … No. 120 Erik van Rooyen is the highest-ranked player in the field. … Ryan Gerard earned a spot after finishing fourth at The Honda Classic after advancing through Open Qualifier.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., March 9-12

LAST TOURNAMENT: Honda LPGA Thailand (Lilia Vu)
THIS WEEK: HSBC Women’s World Championship, Singapore, March 2-5
Course: Sentosa Golf Club – Tanjong Course (Par 72, 6,774 yards)
Purse: $1.8M (Winner: $270,000)
Defending Champion: Jin Young Ko
Race to the CME Globe leader: Brooke Henderson
TV: Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)
Steaming on and NBC Sports App: Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET
Twitter: @HWWCGolf
NOTES: The 66-player, no-cut event is being held on the Tanjong Course for the sixth time after being played on the Serapong Course from 2013-16. … Ko defeated Minjee Lee and In Gee Chun by two shots last year for her lone victory in 2022. Other former event winners in the field are Hyo Joo Kim (2021) and Stacy Lewis (2013). … Lorena Ochoa holds the tournament scoring record of 20-under 268 in 2008. … The 18-hole scoring average last year was 71.016. … World No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Nelly Korda are coming of T6s last week along with Jin Young Ko, who returned to the top 10 at No. 5. … Vu is now third in the Team USA Solheim Cup standings with 138 points, behind only Korda (286) and Lexi Thompson (258).
NEXT TOURNAMENT: LPGA Drive On Championship, Gold Canyon, Ariz., March 23-26

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Chubb Classic (Bernhard Langer)
THIS WEEK: Cologuard Classic, Tucson, Ariz., March 3-5
Course: Omni Tucson National (Par 72, 7,123 yards)
Purse: $2.2M
Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker
TV: Thursday, 7-9 p.m. ET; Saturday, 5-7 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30-7 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
Twitter: @CologuardGolf
NOTES: Langer is tied with Hale Irwin for the most all-time victories on the Champions Tour with 45. … Padraig Harrington, who finished runner-up to Langer at the Chubb Classic, made the cut at last week’s Honda Classic. … Stricker also tied for second at the Chubb Classic. … Brad Adamonis eagled his final hole during the Monday qualifier to secure his spot in the field.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic, Newport Beach, Calif., March 17-19

–Field Level Media

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