It is always one of the most respected tournaments of the year. Arnold Palmer, The King, hosting an elite event with some of the biggest names in golf attending. Last year it was a breakout party of sorts. This year? More of the same. Jump into our weekly rips and shanks.
Ernie Els: Two starts, two wins on the Florida Swing for the Big Easy, who made his Sunday/Monday march to victory look, well, easy. The man strung together four equally impressive rounds, avoiding a mid-round bump in his final round with impressive par saves at 17 and 18.
Edoardo Molinari: Talk about a few good months for the Molinari family. First, Edoardo and brother Francesco won the World Cup for Italy after Francesco finished in the top ten at the PGA Championship. Now, Edoardo finishes second in his third PGA Tour event of the year to Ernie Els, highlighted by a sweet six foot par save on the 18th to earn him just over half a million buckeroos.
Chris Couch: There is nothing regular about Chris Couch. A full fledged gut during the "fitter reigns supreme" decade of the PGA Tour. Sunglasses that look like they'd be better suited for a Tao Beach party than a stroll at Arnold Palmer's tournament and a chipping style that has Couch go crosshanded. Along with that, the 2006 Zurich Classic champion is playing on a medical exemption this season after a shoulder injury sidelined him during 2008. He needs cash and fast, and a fourth place finish this week means that Couch will most likely be around in 2011 unless something crazy happens over the next few months.
Erik Compton: You may remember that name from the '08 Q-School chronicles. A man now on his third heart is still trying to compete on the PGA Tour, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational was his third straight tournament where Compton cashed a paycheck. While he might have finished tied for the 30th, it's still a step in the right direction for a guy carrying one of the best stories out on tour.
Phil Mickelson: Lefty just hasn't had it this season, plain and simple. A second round 67 had everyone talking about this week being his 2010 breakthrough, but the weekend totaled 8-over par, including a final round total of hockey sticks (77).
Alex Prugh: You hate to yell at a rookie that started the year on fire, but Prugh is currently in that uh-oh area for young professionals. After starting the year making six of six cuts, Prugh missed his third cut in a row at Bay Hill, playing the last six rounds of golfer 13-over par.
Scott McCarron: Remember when McCarron was riding Mickelson about all the groove issues? I thought it was pretty strange that a man would be so concerned over something when he himself has struggled for years on the PGA Tour. Mark Bay Hill as another spot Scotty missed the cut, making it his sixth in nine starts.
The Rainout Confusion: On Sunday Bay Hill got drenched, and the tournament was pushed back to a Monday finish. Just like every other tournament, the 2009 event was then put on the television. That lead to more double-takes than any golf tournament has ever produced in the history of the sport. "Wait, is TIGER WOODS PLAYING THIS WEEK!?!" Maybe a "Rainout! 2009 replay" would have been beneficial to all those still a little groggy from March Madness month. The only positive from this was my extremely weak attempt at the, "Hey, I bet Tiger makes this putt to win," joke to a buddy only to have him roll his eyes and slide his chair a little further from me.