API Pays Tribute to The King at BayHill PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno


Before we describe just how impactful the 2017 version of the Arnold Palmer

Invitational was to the golfing world and America, let me confess one intimately

selfish thought - I've covered the Arnold Palmer Invitational for several years now

(it was the first PGA Tour event that granted my media credential) and because

of Mr.Palmer and all that he stood for, I believe it's an obligation as a golf writer to

be there, it was and still is an honor to be granted admission into Arnie's house . . .

Somehow our paths never crossed - Back in 2014 I was planning on putting

in a request for some one on one time with The King. I procrastinated, and

focused my time and efforts on the players and the competition (as Arnie

would have wanted), but when I drove out of BayHill that year and headed

back to West Palm I had a gut feeling that I had missed my opportunity.

I called my wife with a lump in my throat "I think I missed my window," I

said. Shari chimed back, "What are you talking about?" "I have a feeling

that any chance for that handshake and a few minutes of one on one time

just won't be there in the future," I said back. She did what any good wife

does and said what I needed to hear "I'm sure it'll happen for you, drive safely

- see you in a few hours."

I somehow knew that I missed out on meeting the one person that meant so

much to so many around the world (including myself) and for all of the right

reasons. Sure enough, Mr.Palmer's health took a turn in the wrong direction

by the next time the API rolled around and my gut feeling was reality. Never

had the face to face, and to be honest it's my only regret in the game. It sounds

trite but "seize the day" - #ArnieWould








When Mr.Palmer passed in September of 2016, very few of us were on

hand for the services in Latrobe, so for the World of Golf the 2017 Arnold

Palmer Invitational served as a gathering of #ALifeWellPlayed. Please enjoy

our celebration through images from this year's event at Bayhill, and if you

feel about The King the way that I did - feel free to share these images with

those who might enjoy them as well.









One evening as I was driving out of BayHill I glanced over and saw one

of the many banners with an Arnie quote, certainly the world was better

place with him in it.









Pros gathering for a ceremonial tee off dedicated to AP on the range on










Last time we saw anything like this was in dedication to Payne Stewart

at Pebble Beach in 2000.










Many of the players carried the umbrella logo on their bags and Stitch did a

great job of supplying headcovers with AP's Umbrella logo, Henrik's bag might

have been our favorite.






























Courtesy of D.Hauser

Rory and Lucas Glover about to tee off for the final round. Both had

a good showing but came up just short Sunday.








Len Ziehm Chicago Golf Writer for over 40 years is a total class act, and has

become a good friend. If you've been a golf enthusiast for any period of time,

you've read Len's fine work. Somehow, by chance we bumped into each other

again, right in front of the new statue of AP. Made for a perfect photo op. Through

his travels of covering golf Len had spent plenty of time around Mr.Palmer.









This plaque sits beside the new 13 ft statue.









Goodnight King









BayHill has a very intimate feel, perhaps more so than any other tour stop.

You can dine on the patio just a few feet away from where the tour professionals

work on their game. See the view below . . .









If you sit on the patio having breakfast or lunch, this is the view - not

too shabby. As a media member this is the best place to hang during the

week, the practice green is where most of the best conversations between

equipment reps, caddies and players takes place.









Jason Day ripping driver early on a cold Wednesday morning before his

Pro-am round. We posted a short video of this on Instagram and it has

been viewed nearly 12k times. Who knew?








It was announced by Alastair Johnston that the media area at BayHill

will forever be known as the Doc Giffin Media Center. Doc Giffin was

Mr.Palmer's personal assistant for over 50 years - because of health

issues and poor weather in the Latrobe area, Mr.Giffin wasn't able to

attend this year's API.









I ran into Alastair Johnston (pictured above) coming out of the media

center one evening and before I was able to express what a fantastic job

the entire staff had done, he looked at me and said, "Thank You so much

for being here, it means the world to us." No wonder AP relied on him for

so much, Class act.








The Arnold Palmer foundation met with the media to discuss the weeks events







Coutesy of D.Hauser

The Fans








All week Arnie's spot on the range looked proper . . .







Coutesy of D.Hauser

As was his usual spot between 16 tee and the 18th fairway.








Two fine gents - PGA Tour Media Director of Communications Mark Williams

conducts the Q&A early in the week with Graeme McDowell who served as

one of the Co-hosts at the 2017 API.








The newest tradition at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is the cardigan sweater

(a trademark of Arnie's attire) that will be awarded to the Champion each year.

A nice touch.







Courtesy D.Hauser

Aussie Marc Leishman is the first API Champion since the King's passing. He's worthy

of the red cardigan.








Symbols of "A Life Well Played" that we're paying forward to a lucky

Arnie fan this week via Twitter and Instagram. #ArnieWould