ORLANDO, Fla. - Fresh off a sixth-place finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the Official World Golf Ranking and a four-time major champion, has committed to a second straight year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard.
In its 38th year, the premier invitational tournament hosted by golfing legend Arnold Palmer takes place March 14-20 at Palmer's renowned Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
McIlroy, 26, who needs only the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam, returns to Palmer's Championship Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge after finishing T-11 last year with four sub-par rounds of 70-66-71-70-277.
"I am delighted to add the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to my 2016 playing schedule and I look forward to another chance to win Mr. Palmer's tournament," said McIlroy, winner of 19 professional titles, including 11 on the PGA TOUR. "Bay Hill is a great course, a real golfing challenge, and I'm glad it suits my game. It will take a lot of imagination and good shot-making to go really low, but I'm really excited to get back this year."
The reigning champion of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, McIlroy fired a final-round 7-under-par 65 at Dubai for his joint sixth showing last week after posting a tie for third at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship a few weeks earlier.
"It was wonderful having Rory here for the first time last year," said the tournament's Executive Director Scott Wellington. "I think he thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Bay Hill, and he obviously played very well. We are excited for his return, joining our elite field of the world's best players."
Matt Every is the two-time defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, and he is among a handful of notable players who join McIlroy on the early commitment list. Others include major championship winners Graeme McDowell, Davis Love III, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott as well as Brandt Snedeker, who like McDowell is a MasterCard ambassador. Snedeker recently won the Farmers Insurance Open and is No. 14 in the world. Watson is No. 6 and Scott 18.
About the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard
The Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard takes place March 14-20, 2016 at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. In its 38th year, the tournament has become Central Florida's signature sporting event and a highlight of the PGA TOUR. The event attracts the greatest names in golf and is overseen and directed by one of the game's all-time greats, Arnold Palmer. Hertz is an associate sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. Proceeds from the tournament benefit Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation, which supports Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.