Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Peter Jacobsen, Graeme McDowell, Annika Sörenstam and Curtis Strange will join former Secretary of Homeland Security and family friend Tom Ridge to host the 39th Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, taking place in Orlando March 13-19.
“Arnold was a force of nature, on and off the course,” said McDowell. “We can’t fill his shoes but we can carry on his passion for helping others. I live with my family in Orlando and my children were born at Winnie Palmer Hospital, so I’ve been a direct beneficiary of Arnold’s charitable legacy. I’m honored to be part of such a remarkable event.”
As hosts, the group will step into traditional roles held by Palmer throughout the tournament — greeting players and guests, hosting Pro-Am parties and helping to present the championship trophy on Sunday. They will also take part in new events planned to honor Palmer’s legacy, including a special ceremony to mark the start of the tournament on Wednesday, March 15.
In addition to announcing its new hosts, tournament officials today also shared plans to add all-new photo spots and signage throughout the course. Each spot will tell a different story about Palmer’s many accomplishments and his far-reaching influence.
Each day of tournament play, Palmer’s iconic golf cart and clubs will be on display overlooking the 16th green, where Palmer most frequently watched the game and greeted players and fans. Guests can also expect a bigger emphasis on Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, Palmer’s philanthropic organization. All proceeds from the tournament support the foundation.
“Part of my dad’s legacy was to inspire others to care about things he thought were important,” said Palmer’s daughter Amy Saunders, chairman of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. “With the help of his many friends, fans and followers, we intend to keep that light shining brightly.”