The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard is one of the most prestigious events on the PGA Tour.
Paying homage to the legacy of Arnold Palmer, every detail is perfected and is an experience that goes beyond the players and fans. Mastercard strives to create tradition and memories that last.
I had the privilege of playing in the pro-am on Wednesday with PGA Tour player Tyrrell Hatton and Chicago Bears quarterback Trever Siemian.
Hatton won the API in 2020 and Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a special place to him. It’s no secret that the course plays tough, but Hatton had a level of confidence to him that only a winner could find within.
The rough was four inches the day of the practice round and Bay Hill’s team did not cut it through the weekend. I didn’t feel nervous as I played my round, but all of my golf knowledge felt as if it flew out the window. It had been years since I’ve played in rough that thick. It’s weird how when you approach a harder or more prestigious course how your subconscious seeps in and a trusty 9-iron becomes the game of the unknown.
Everyone talks about Hatton and Siemian as amazing athletes but who they are as people was truly admirable. Hatton explained how lovely it is to have his wife travel with him to almost every tournament. Siemian told me the blessings of being a father to three children. Both of the players talked about their families with such a great sense of pride and value.
The golf was spectacular and it was an honor to play a course polished and set up for a PGA Tour event. The rough, narrow fairways, challenging pins, firm greens and added wind set the stage for a fight.
During the tournament, Mastercard had many activations set up for fans to enjoy. These tents were set up for cardholders and designed to allow them to tap into their five senses. They had drinks, aromas, video games, food, simulators, virtual reality, banking and more for fans to enjoy.
Mastercard and Capital One teamed up to create a Small Business Marketplace. The companies took care of fees, expenses and buildout to give a bakery and café a chance to make profit and gain exposure near the 18th green.
Mastercard is a supporter of the Orlando Winnie Palmer Hospital and make numerous contributions throughout the year and tournament week. One example of this is when they donated $10,000 to the Hospital in the winning group of Wednesday’s pro-am name.
Mastercard has extended their partnership with the API on a multi-year deal. They have been with the tournament for 19 years and plan to keep growing the experience and partnership.