Following Arnold Palmer’s death, the fate of his eponymous tournament was in doubt. The strength of the field had begun to waver, and without the presence of the King, officials worried the event had lost its clout.
Those worries, at least for 2019, have been alleviated.
The annual Bay Hill event—already boasting commits from eight-time winner Tiger Woods, defending champ Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Bryson DeChambeau—added three more marquee names to the field on Tuesday in Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson.
Of particular interest is Mickelson. Though the 48-year-old won the API in 1997, this marks the first time since 2013 that Mickelson will tee it up in Orlando. What this means for his status at the Players Championship—the five-time major winner said he may skip the tour’s flagship event—is unknown.
Day is also a former API champ, winning the event in 2016. Koepka has made three appearances at Bay Hill, his best finish a T-26 in 2014.
The API field now has 13 of the world’s top 20 players, and six of the top 10.