ORLANDO, FLORIDA (AP) – The Arnold Palmer Invitational will be the season’s toughest test unless Mother Nature intervenes or the PGA Tour’s set-up crew makes a blunder.
The current score average of 73.556 is comfortably the toughest of the season, with last week’s stop at the Honda Classic (71.341) in front of it, and players were braced for another taxing final round with gusts expected to blow up to 20 mph. It’s shaping up to be a lengthy month, with the Players Championship and TPC Sawgrass looming next week.
“We were talking about how Tampa [the last leg of the Florida trip] is going to feel like a cakewalk after playing last week and then this week, the mental struggle,” Gary Woodland said.
Every year, Bay Hill becomes one of the Tour’s most difficult courses, but knowing what to expect doesn’t make it any easier.
“I don’t want to say something I’ll come to regret, but we’ve known what to expect coming here for the past few years.” “It just seems to be this way throughout the weekend,” Rory McIlroy said, despite a third-round 76 that kept him in contention. “It’s just difficult.” It’s difficult not to become frustrated.”
Even the best players admitted that Bay Hill has become an acquired taste on the Tour.
When asked if he appreciates difficult tests like Bay Hill, co-leader Viktor Hovland replied, “To be honest, not really.” “I believe we’ve reached the point where everything becomes a scrambling competition.” As I’ve already stated, that is not my strong suit.”
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