Category: Bay Hill

March 27, 2013

Get a jolt from the King with new Arnold Palmer energy drink

Posted at 3:28 PM by

Palmer_drink_300Arnold Palmer sure seems to have a lot of energy for an 83-year-old, and now we know why.

Tiger Woods might be back at No. 1, but Palmer is making just as much news this week. In addition to hosting the Bay Hill Classic, his eponymous PGA tournament, the legend is kissing supermodels, fighting ninjas with Tiger and holding court on a proposed ban on anchored putters.   

Now he's got an energy drink with his name on it. 

AriZona has added another product to its successful line of Arnold Palmer branded drinks -- and this one is caffeinated. The new "Arnold Palmer Drive," an energy drink that will retail for $2.49, sticks to the half lemonade, half iced tea formula named after The King.

And those earlier forays into the news for Palmer this week? All part of the plan, it seems. SI Swimsuit cover model Kate Upton will be involved in a social media campaign to market the drink, while the cans have codes that allow players of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 "to unlock an in-game bonus."

ESPN's Darren Rovell tweeted a picture of the new can, which hit stores this week.

Photo: @Darrenrovell

March 24, 2013

VIDEO: Sergio climbs tree, hits escape shot in final round at Bay Hill

Posted at 2:50 PM by Jeff Ritter

We're familiar with the three iron. But this might be the first time we've seen Sergio break out a "tree iron."

On Sunday afternoon at Bay Hill, Sergio Garcia's tee shot on the par-4 10th hole got hung up in a tree. Undeterred, Garcia shimmied up into the branches, turned his back to the hole, and punched his ball into the fairway en route to a double-bogey six. Garcia parred his next two holes before played was suspended because of a storm, and he withdrew from the tournament during the delay.

Video: Watch incredible up-and-down from water at Bay Hill

Posted at 2:42 PM by Mike Walker

Nicolas Thompson made an up-and-down for the ages from a water hazard at Bay Hill on Saturday. Take a look:

March 22, 2013

Photos: Arnold Palmer kisses SI Swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton

Posted at 11:21 AM by Mike Walker

Arnold Palmer's "date" with SI Swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational appears to have ended well, according to this photo posted by Cori Britt, a vice president at Arnold Palmer Enterprises.


Old school to the core, Palmer also gave Upton his umbrella pin:


On Twitter, Upton posted a pic of her and IMG models manager Lisa Benson on a Bay Hill tee box. Talk about a intimidating tee shot:


March 26, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Gospel singers praise Luke Donald in video

Posted at 12:26 PM by Mick Rouse

Luke Donald isn’t exactly the longest player off the tee—he’s not even the 177th longest player off the tee—but he is the No. 1 player in the world, as he kindly reminds us with the help of Mizuno, YouTube and gospel singers. 



Ben Crane squeaks into Masters field

Speaking of YouTube, Ben Crane and his helmet are headed to Augusta. As Ryan Ballengee reports, Crane began the week as No. 48 in the Official World Golf Ranking, leaving little wiggle room to remain inside the top 50. After missing the cut, things looked grim for Crane; however, he only dipped down one place to 49th, keeping his hopes for a green jacket alive. doesn’t exactly like the American’s odds, though (125 to 1 odds). Always the good sport (and social-media savant), Crane took to Twitter to let us know that, at the very least, there is a chance, quoting "Dumb and Dumber" along the way. 

Arnold Palmer might play in charity event this December

As reported earlier, the PNC Father/Son Challenge is set to return after a brief hiatus. Arnold Palmer will serve as the event’s ambassador, and the event will benefit the Anrold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winner Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, but he may also be competing, according to Jason Sobel

"Well, my plans are right now, I'm thinking about it," he [Palmer] said with a wink. "I have two grandsons that are eligible."

Following that coy remark, though, Palmer was hospitalized with high blood pressure. Reports indicate that he will be fine, but it is unclear if it will affect his playing status. If the tweets from one of Arnie’s grandsons, up-and-comer Sam Saunders, are any indication, there is a good chance we see the King teeing it up come December.

Tweet of the Day

Round 4 Highlights from 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Posted at 10:11 AM by

Highlights from the final round at the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Tiger Woods ended a 30-month drought with a five-shot victory.


March 05, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Lexi Thompson drops dad as caddie

Posted at 6:03 PM by Mick Rouse

Scott Thompson’s little girl is all grown up. As the LPGA season is set to begin next week, teen sensation Lexi Thompson has opted to ditch her dad and bring on experienced bagman Greg Johnston, reports Golf Channel’s Randall Mell.

Johnston has manned the bag for many notable LPGA players, including Lorena Ochoa, Brittany Lincicome, Suzann Pettersen, and Michelle Wie. Most notably, though, Johnson spent 12 years with Juli Inkster, guiding her to seven major championships. 

Don’t feel too bad for dad, though. Scott Thompson has a landing pad with Lexi’s brother, Nicholas, who is trying to get his PGA Tour card back. Scott will take up caddie duties for Nicholas while he works up the ranks of the Nationwide Tour. 

The new team of Lexi and Johnston will debut at the Founders Cup in Tempe, Ariz., on March 16 according to Thompson’s manager, Bobby Kreusler. 

Las Vegas makes McIlroy the Masters favorite

In case you hadn’t heard, Rory McIlroy is golf’s new world No. 1. That also means he is the favorite to win this year’s Masters, according to the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Sportsbook, which released new Masters odds this morning. 

Following his victory at the Honda Classic, the 22-year-old jumped from a 6/1 favorite to 5/1, separating himself from the rest of the pack, led by none other than Tiger Woods.   

The Las Vegas Hotel and Casino’s 10 favorites to win the Masters are as follows: 


Tiger commits to play Bay Hill 

Tiger Woods was expected to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitation at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla., at the end of this month, and now it's official, reports Ryan Ballengee

A six-time champion of the event, including four-consecutive titles from 2000-03 and winning with dramatic birdies on the 72nd hole in 2008 and ’09, it will be just one more opportunity for a resurgent Tiger to nab his first win of the season, something that may play a crucial part in his success at this year’s Masters. 

The event will likely be Woods’ last before competing in the Masters. In all four years Woods won at Augusta National, he has tallied at least one PGA Tour victory before taking the green jacket.

Tweet of the Day


March 28, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Phil says Masters win came 'at perfect time'

Posted at 1:15 PM by Mike Walker

Phil Mickelson opened up to Parade Magazine about his difficult 2010 in a pre-Masters profile of the defending champion.

“It was an emotional high, and we had been through so many emotional lows over the previous 11 months,” Mickelson says. “It came at a perfect time.”

In fact, the lows had been devastating. A year earlier, in May of 2009, Amy, then 36, was told she had breast cancer. Less than two months later, Mickelson’s mom, Mary, got the same diagnosis. Mickelson returned to golf early on, but the family’s world had been turned upside down.

“A good friend of ours said the hardest thing to accept is that your old life is in the past and there’s a new normal,” Mickelson says. “When we looked at it that way, it was like a little bit of the pressure was off because it would have been almost impossible to get it back the way it was before.”

Amy and Mary now have good long-term prognoses, but last April’s collective sigh of relief didn’t last long. In June, just before the U.S. Open and six days before his 40th birthday, Mickelson woke up with excruciating pain in his right ankle, hips, and left index finger.

“It happened three days after I told Amy that my body had never felt this good—strong, loose, and limber,” he says. Mickelson played through the pain and stiffness for weeks (“If I stopped [moving] for 5 or 10 minutes, everything would lock up. And every morning I would just crawl out of bed, it hurt so bad”) before he got a definitive diagnosis: psoriatic arthritis, an immune disease that attacks the joints and has no cure.

Parade also talks to David Feherty, who explains why Mickelson and Augusta National is such a felicitous meeting of player and course:

“Phil is like the human equivalent of that golf course: You have to watch every single shot,” Feherty says. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

Sherrie Daly says pro golfers live like rock stars (groupies included)

In her new book "Teed Off," Sherrie Daly, Long John’s fourth ex-wife, takes readers on a tour of the wild side of professional golf. In an interview with The New York Post to promote her tell-all, Sherrie Daly says Tiger Woods wasn’t the only golfer misbehaving on the PGA Tour. 

“It's not just Tiger. It’s John and others, believe me,” she tells The Post. “Professional golfers behave as dirty as any other professional athlete or rock star.”

Sherrie also reveals that the game is riddled with prostitution, drug use and overall misbehavior more generally associated with football and basketball.

“Golf sluts may dress in golf outfits, with those nerdy visors and argyle socks and sweater vests and pretend they’re interested in the game. But they’re just whores in preppy clothes,” she writes.

Justin Rose closes his eyes and starts making putts at Bay Hill

Stephanie Wei at found the secret to Justin Rose’s back-nine 31 at difficult Bay Hill on Sunday: he closed his eyes on putts under 10 feet.

Justin Rose fired a mighty impressive four-under 68 on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. After posting a one-over on the front nine at Bay Hill, Rose got hot on the back and came in with a 31. He felt like he was rolling some great putts all week, but he wasn’t getting results. Until he made a change after the turn — he closed his eyes over putts inside ten feet.

“Nothing was going in the hole on the front nine, so he putted with his eyes shut on the back nine,” said Rose’s caddie Mark Fulcher.

I laughed and said, “Wait, I can’t tell if you’re kidding or not.”

“I’m serious,” said Fulcher. “It’s a drill we use during practice with the Zenio system. Nothing was going in on the front and the pins were quite difficult. There was nothing to lose.”

It worked out pretty well. Rose figured he wasn’t making anything, so why not give it a try? After all, he makes more than he misses during practice, anyway. On the first hole he tried it, the 10th, he drained an eight-footer for birdie.

“Mentally, it was a challenge to do that coming down the stretch when you’re trying to be that carefree, and just let it go,” said Rose. “The more I kind of got up the leaderboard, the more I was trying to use it as a real test and a drill, and it worked.”

Rose also rolled in a few longer putts, where he left his eyes open.

If you’re thinking of trying it yourself, Australian golfer Peter O’Malley has had some success with closing his eyes on putts from less than six feet. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall of the Terminus Club in Atlanta, Ga., says it could be the fix you need if you struggle on short ones.

“It takes a lot of trust in your stroke, but I like the concept,” Tattersall said. “If your stroke is good, but your eyes aren’t seeing a good result, then this might help.”

However, closing your eyes will only work if your distance control is excellent, Tattersall said.

“If you’re usually online, but always hit your putts three feet past the hole or short, then keep your eyes open but try looking at the hole when you hit the ball,” Tattersall said.

Rory McIlroy makes Time Magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds list

Stewart Cink might have the most followers (1,207,293) and Tiger Woods is certainly more famous, but, according to Time Magazine, Rory McIlroy has the best Twitter feed in golf. (He’s actually tied for No. 8 on Time’s list with “Lord Voldermort,” although probably only PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem sees McIlroy as a villain.)

Followers: 157K

Sample Tweet: "A lot of abuse from @WestwoodLee about my top! Unjustified! He's dressed like a farmer at a beach party"

Tweet of the Day:

Lee_Westwood_d3Qatar_628500_normal WestwoodLee: Raining cats n dawgs in Augusta! Noisy clouds not good for masters practice ! 


March 25, 2011

Live Blog: Round 2 at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Posted at 12:37 PM by

SI's Farrell Evans live blogged the second round at Bay Hill. Read about all the action from Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Leaderboard | Photos | TV Schedule | Video: Live Coverage on






March 24, 2010

Daily Flogging: CBS doesn't like taste of own medicine

Posted at 12:23 PM by Alan Bastable

Analysis and debate continue to rage over Tiger's rapid-fire Q&As with ESPN and the Golf Channel, including why CBS declined an invitation to sit down—well, stand up—with Woods. In a lively "Shotgun Start" session, Steve Elling and Scott Michaux took on the topic, with this critique from Michaux ...

As for CBS trying to wedge it into their five-star Sunday lineup of the NCAA tournament followed by 60 Minutes, it's hard to believe a news organization of that caliber couldn't make it happen. 60 Minutes has handled breaking news before, and given the one-day lead time, they surely could have packaged 12 minutes of background on this saga to lead into the five-minute Q&A as a segment on their broadcast. It is the best news show in TV history. They've dealt with deadline pressure before. No offense, but I say bad call.

I'm with Michaux. Wouldn't you have loved to see Mike Wallace go all Mike Wallace on Woods? And what's with CBS getting all holier-than-thou about its journalistic standards—i.e., refusing the interview because of the time restriction? Remember, this is the same network that banned its golf announcers from Tiger talk in the weeks leading up to Torrey Pines. "I've had my tongue surgically removed from any questions about Tiger," Gary McCord told SI's Farrell Evans in a February interview. "So I can't answer that." Muzzling McCord? We thought only Augusta National could do that.

Arnie beefs up Bay Hill
Call it Bay Hell. Seems Arnold Palmer thought his place was getting too soft, so this week's field at the Bay Hill Invitational will find a newly renovated track that is fiercer than ever. USA Today's Steve DiMeglio has the details:

The biggest change on the scorecard is the restoration of par to 72 after three years of playing the course at par 70. For the first time since 2006, the fourth and 16th holes will play as par-5s.

Palmer, in his search for more pin placements, also had many of the greens' harshest slopes smoothed out. Some greens were enlarged, rebuilt or moved closer to bunkers and water hazards, as well.

"The course will play long, too, because the rough is up and the ground is soft because we had such a wet winter," says Robert Gamez, a Bay Hill resident who won here in 1990. "With the changes, this place is going to play a lot tougher."

Look at the bright side, Robert: No Tiger.

Among those not scrambling for Masters tickets: Elin Woods
Citing a "good source"—because, you know, no great ones were available—Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times has some scoop on the state of Tiger and Elin's so-called reconciliation. It ain't pretty.

Along with having her lawyers continuing to draft divorce documents, Elin reportedly is planning to head back to Sweden for a visit with her family—joined by her children. "She wants to be out of the country when Tiger plays the Masters," said a good source Monday.

But wait, Zwecker's source has more:

• Elin believes Tiger is only giving lip service to his recovery. She's convinced he's still more worried about getting his golf career back on track than about Elin's feelings about their relationship.

• Tiger's wife also is furious about the ongoing revelations about his past indiscretions — and believes there are even more women still to come forward with stories, text messages, photos and even videos.

• Elin thinks Tiger is not as attentive to their two children, despite his claims his kids are so important to him.

No doubt if Tiger had given ESPN and the Golf Channel another five minutes, this would have all come out.

Augusta National to name a sandwich after Nathan Smith
Among the many perks awarded to Masters invitees: seemingly unlimited access to the course in the months before the tournament. Geoff Ogilvy played Augusta National a few weeks back, Tiger Woods played there on Monday, and amateur standout Nathan Smith, well, according to Larry Dorman of The New York Times, he's made the National his second home...

For all its well-deserved reputation as an ultra-exclusive bastion of power, Augusta National hosts many golfers who are hardly front-page news, even in their hometown newspapers. For example, Nathan Smith, well known in the tightly knit circles of amateur golf but little-known outside them, has already played numerous practice rounds this year. Smith, the reigning United States Mid-Amateur champion, will be playing his second Masters, which begins April 18. Before his first appearance in 2004 as the '03 Mid-Amateur champion, Smith said he had played some 20 practice rounds.

Twenty rounds? Hell, that's more than most members play. Cumulatively.

Does Tiger's Foundation need to trim some fat?
It's hard to knock a charitable foundation, especially one that doles out nearly $3 million a year in grants. But buried deep in an piece on the state of the Tiger Woods Foundation is this eye-opening nugget:

While charity watchdogs generally give the foundation high marks, some question the significant expenses incurred by the nonprofit in hosting these events. On its most recent tax return, the Tiger Woods Charity Event Corporation reported having spent $32.7 million staging the two golf tournaments -- including $15 million in television network fees and tourney purses -- and star-studded entertainment events like the Tiger Jam, while turning a $3.5 million profit.

"If you have a ratio of $32 million [expenses] and $3 million [profit], you are so upside-down it isn't funny," says Marc Pollick, founder and president of the Giving Back Fund, which manages and consults with philanthropic foundations. "What it is doing is paying a lot of salaries to event planners and to vendors and directors, and a little bit goes to charity."

McLaughlin defends the foundation's practices, saying its staging of the golf events follows the PGA Tour model, and that the AT&T and Chevron stops rank among the leading charitable events on the tour. According to the most recent federal tax filings, the event corporation transferred $2.95 million to Woods' foundation.

And then there's this:

The $503,138 compensation paid McLaughlin has also come under scrutiny by watchdogs. McLaughlin, a lawyer by trade, befriended Woods in 1992 when he gave the then-16-year-old golfer an exemption into his first PGA Tour event, the then-Nissan Los Angeles Open. At the time, McLaughlin was the tournament director in Los Angeles.

Inviting a 16-year-old phenom to your event? Brilliant. Abusing your power as PGA Tour commissioner by strongly encouraging tournaments to extend invitations to a fading 48-year-old with no Tour card? Harebrained.

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