In honor of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, it’s easy to reflect back on the AJGA’s history at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
In July, the AJGA will host the third-annual Jim Bell Memorial Junior presented by PerryGolf. The Open tournament is in memory of Jim Bell, the tournament director of the Arnold Palmer Invitational from 1979-2005. Bell was a member of the AJGA Board of Directors from 2001-03 and was a longtime friend of the AJGA. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is also a tournament partner of the Jim Bell Memorial Junior presented by PerryGolf.
Bay Hill is one of five AJGA events that also host PGA TOUR events during the year.
In addition to the Jim Bell Memorial Junior presented by PerryGolf, the AJGA has hosted events at Bay Hill since 2004.
In 2012, Bay Hill witnessed arguably the most dramatic Wyndham Cup finish of all time. Cody Proveaux, who went on to play at Clemson, sank a 10-foot par putt in the final singles match to clinch a 25-25 tie, leading to a retention of the Wyndham Cup for the East Team.
From 2004-08, the HP Boys Junior Championship, now the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, was hosted at Bay Hill. Two former champions at Bay Hill, Kyle Stanley (2005) and Rickie Fowler (2006), will compete this week in Orlando.
Over the years, many AJGA members have graduated from playing junior to professional tournaments at Bay Hill, and this year will continue that trend in The King’s backyard.