Scottie Scheffler coasts to 5-shot win at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Scottie Scheffler shot a bogey-free 66 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge to win by 5 shots over Wyndham Clark in a rout at Arnold Palmer Invitational March 10.

ORLANDO, FL. –The State of Florida has one of the largest year-round golfing populations in the country. That population increases dramatically during the winter season so what better time to offer four PGA TOUR events across the state that give both Floridians and their winter guests a chance to see some of their favorite PGA players up close and personal.

This week’s 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational, at Bay Hill Club & Lodge (March 7-10), hosted by the City of Orlando known for its world-renowned attractions and endless entertainment for visitors of all ages. So, move over Disney World, Universal Studios Resorts and SeaWorld, it’s time to share “Center Stage” again with this year’s Invitational on one of the most popular golfing venues on the PGA Tour.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational Signature Event, along with the Memorial Tournament, will feature 36-hole cuts to the top 50 and ties plus any players within ten shots of the lead. It has the standard $20 million purse however, the winner’s share is increased to a whopping $4 million, an increase from the normal $3.6 million in prize money to winners in other signature events.


The Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament is contested each year at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge near Orlando, Florida. In 1979, the tournament changed its name and made a permanent move to the Bay Hill Course, owned by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. This prestigious event, which is part of the PGA Tour, can trace its roots back to the inaugural 1966 Florida Citrus Open Invitational.


The event was founded in 1979 as a successor to the Florida Citrus Open Invitational, which debuted in 1966 and was played at Rio Pinar Country Club, east of Orlando, through 1978. Arnold Palmer won the Florida Citrus Open in 1971.

Since Palmer’s death in 2017, the winner receives a red cardigan sweater in memory of the seven-time major winner. Kurt Kitayama was the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational winner who picked up both a new red Cardigan sweater along with his first PGA TOUR win.


Bay Hill Club & Lodge edges along the shores of the Butler Chain of Lakes, sprawling across 270 acres of softly undulating landscape that provides more elevation changes than what can be found on most Florida golf courses but not enough to be considered hilly. The straightforward course does not have any hidden hazards or surprises. Water hazards come into play several times throughout and strategic mounding and bunkering also provide challenges.

The first 18 holes at Bay Hill (Champion and Challenger nines) were designed by Dick Wilson in 1961 and were built by Bob Simmons. Considered one of Wilson’s best works, the course illustrates his typical approach of slightly elevating the putting surfaces to improve visibility and drainage. Simmons designed and built the additional 9 holes (Charger nine) after Wilson’s death.


Sometimes Jupiter can align with Mars, as was the case here in Round One, when the playing conditions were as close to perfect as they could get. Shane Lowry 6-under and the first-round leader called the condition “benign.”

Lowry’s best finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational came last year when he shot an 8-over 80 in the third round and finished 67th. He failed to qualify this week through the Aon Swing 5 but received a sponsor’s exemption.

Lowry’s first round 6-under 66 wasn’t quite what he expected when he made the turn at 1-under 35. He headed to the back nine, which was playing much easier than the opening nine. He birdied the par-4 10th with a 4-foot putt, birdied the tough par-4 11th with a 35-footer to get to 3-under on the day.

Then, at the par-5 12th, he hit his second shot from 277 yards to 18 feet and then proceeded to roll his putt in for an eagle three followed by a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th that vaulted him into the lead at 6-under.


He gave one back with a bogey on the 14th but regained the lead when he stuck his tee shot inside eight feet on the 17th and converted the birdie putt. “It’s funny. When you’re out there playing, and you get on a run like that, it does feel pretty easy,” Lowry said of his historic four-hole stretch.

Justin Lower 5-under, also entered this week on a hot streak, having earned his way into the limited-field Signature Event via the Aon Swing 5. His round started slowly Thursday, but he took full advantage of both the weather and more favorable conditions on the back-nine carding five birdies lifting him into a share of the second place.

“I putted well, and I hit some shots really close, which is always nice,” he said. “That’s kind of hard to do around here, but the greens were a little more receptive than I thought they would be.”

Round 1: Top 5
1. Shane Lowry -6 (66)
T2. Justin Lower -5 (67)
T2. Hideki Matsuyama -5 (67)
T4. Russell Henley -4 (68)
T4. Lee Hodges -4 (68)
T4. Sam Burns -4 (68)
T4. Sahith Theegala -4 (68)


Dat two saw three new names added to what has become a top-heavy leaderboard with 6 players currently tied for 1st place. Shane Lowry 7-under, Hideki Matsuyama 7-under and Russell Henley 7-under are still there from yesterday’s top 5. Scottie Scheffler 7-under, Wyndham Clark 7-under, and Clark, and Brian Harman 7-under, have now added their names.

The three new additions to the top spot took different approaches to the way they managed to arrive at their share of the lead. Scheffler (67) decided to play his last 7 holes at 5-under par. “I get excited to see my name at the top of the leaderboard,” Scheffler said. “There’s a lot of names up at the top right now. It’s pretty stacked going into the weekend. I’m proud of how I finished today to kind of give myself a good chance.”


Brian Harman (68) played a steady round with 5 birdies moving to 8-under heading into the 18th green but bogeyed the 18th. “(This course) has whipped me pretty good, but it’s a place where, if you take on some spots off the tee, you can have some short clubs in. That’s just been my plan this week, try to take on what I can, and try to use what little advantage I have.”

Wyndham Clark (66) took a different approach by carding 9 birdies along with 3 bogeys. Six of those birdies coming on his 31 back nine. “Honestly, I bet you if I shot even par you would be in the top five and have a chance to win,” Clark said. “Tomorrow is supposed to have some wind and be hot, so it’s going to get firmer and faster, which it’s already doing.

The round wasn’t without its moments: Tommy Fleetwood did his best impersonation of Kevin Costner’s character Roy McAvoy in the “Tin Cup” when he took 10 shots on the par-5, 6th hole today carding a Quintuple Bogey. Even with a 10 on the hole, Fleetwood didn’t come close to John Daly’s record for the worst score on the hole. Back in 1998, Daly carded an 18.

The cut fell at 4-over 148, claiming 11 players. The list of notable players who did not qualify for the weekend included defending champion Kurt Kitayama, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Scott, Collin Morikawa, Nicolai Højgaard and Justin Rose.

Round 2: Top 5
T1. Wyndham Clark -7 (71 66)
T1. Brian Harman -7 (69 68)
T1. Russell Henley -4 (68 69)
T1. Shane Lowry -7 (66 71)
T1. Hideki Matsuyama -7 (67 70)
T1. Scottie Scheffler -7 (70 67)


There will be a showdown of major champions here tomorrow with Scottie Scheffler 9-under, the 2022 Masters champion, making five birdies on the back nine today, and Shane Lowry 9-under, winner of the 2019 Open Championship, making four to share the lead heading.

After finishing his round today, Scheffler said. “I think I’m just doing a good job of trying to stay in a good head space on the greens. On the back nine I did a really good job of just trying to stay as much in it as I could and hit some good putts, and sometimes you really just got to get lucky.”


Although Scheffler and Lowry will be the last twosome of the day tomorrow, it’s not going to be just a two-man race to the trophy presentation. Defending U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark 8-under sits one stroke back, while 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama 7-under, Will Zalatoris 7-under and Russell Henley 7-under are lurking two strokes off the lead.

Wyndham Clark 8-under, posted one of the more unique scorecards of the day, with 1st and 9th hole double bogeys on the front nine, followed by a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch on holes 10-12. With one Signature Event at Pebble Beach already on his resume this year, he could be trouble for the leaders.

Will Zalatoris 7-under 3rd round appeared to have a split personality. His 4-under (32) on the front nine had him leading the field heading to back nine. He birdied the 11th then proceeded to double bogey two of his last four holes (39).

Rory McIlroy, who started the day tied for 30th, surged within striking distance by firing a 68 that saw him match the back-nine scoring record of 30. His 365-yard tee shot on the 10th hole made him the first player in the ShotLink era to drive the green, and he two-putted from 65 feet for the first of his six back-nine birdies.

“I thought if I got it in one of the two front traps that would be a good leave to hit something up to the green, but, yeah, I wasn’t trying to hit it on the green,” McIlroy said. “But it was nice to walk up and see it on there.”

Round 3: Top 5
T1. Scottie Scheffler -9 (70 67 70)
T1. Shane Lowry -9 (66 71 70)
3. Wyndham Clark -8 (71 66 71)
T4. Russell Henley -7 (68 69 71)
T4. Hideki Matsuyama -7 (67 70 72)
T4. Will Zalatoris -7 (69 69 71)


The final round got off without a hitch this morning in spite of players and support personnel dealing with their lost hour of sleep last night. The early twosomes found the course still wet from the night’s rain with the temperature a little cooler than the first 3 days.


The wind out of the NNW at 10-15mph was the biggest difference as it was blowing in the exact opposite direction than the first three rounds. it looked like it just might be another tough day at Bay Hill.

The final round of this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational was nothing short of a good old fashion “Butt-Kicking.” This one was never even close right from the start. Scottie Scheffler took no prisoners as he brought his opponents to their knees.

He added yet another masterpiece to his remarkable resume today, posting a 6-under par final-round 66 to secure his second Arnold Palmer Invitational victory and become just the eighth player to win the tournament more than once.

“I think it has a lot to do with keeping the mind as quiet as possible,” Scheffler explained. “Part of the problem is just trying too hard. It’s frustrating to not have the best out of myself, just because I know that I can putt really well. It’s not like I’ve been a bad putter my whole career. I’ve just gone through a stretch where it’s been tough.


The winner of the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational is Scottie Scheffler at 15 under (70 67 70 66). Along with the traditional Red Cardigan Sweater, Scottie received The Players Championship Trophy, a check for $4,000,000, and 700 FedExCup points. He joined the PGA TOUR in 2020 and has now won 7 tournaments. His current career earnings, with this win, are $49,004,729.

During his post round interview, Scottie was asked “how special was winning this tournament again?” “It’s really special,” Scheffler said. “Mr. Palmer meant a lot to me, meant a lot to us as professional golfers and the game of golf, and so it’s very special to be able to sit here and wear his red sweater again. I’m very proud to be the champion of his tournament.”

The 2nd place finisher was Wyndham Clark at 10-under (71 66 71 70). He received a check for $2,200,000 and 315 FedExCup Points.

Finishing in 3rd place was Shane Lowry 9-under (66 71 70 72) who walked away with $1,400.000 and 200 FedExCup Points.

Round 4: Top 5
1. Scottie Scheffler -15 (70 67 70 66)
2. Wyndham Clark -10 (71 66 71 70)
3. Shane Lowry -9 (66 71 70 72)
T4. Russell Henley -7 (68 69 71 72)
T4. Will Zalatoris -7 (69 69 71 72)

Bill Sangster, a life-long golf aficionado and former Sergeant in Marines, moved to Cape Cod in 1974 where he raised his family while working as educator with the Sandwich School System for 23 years. With his Falmouth home adjacent to Paul Harney’s Golf Course, Bill spent many days learning and playing the game of golf. He was a member of White Cliffs Country Club and Sandwich Hollows Country on Cape Cod. In 2018 he continued his love for the game of golf by moving to “The Villages” in Florida. He now will admit to anyone who asks that he is addicted to the game of golf! Bill can be reached at

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