by Jeff Skinner
They may call it the Arnold Palmer but defending champion Tiger Woods can claim ownership to Bay Hill, at least figuratively as he has won here seven times. Woods has two wins already this season and with control over all facets of his game he looks poised to try and reclaim his past days of glory.
But a stacked field will be trying to keep Woods from his winning fist pump at eighteen on Sunday. Past champions, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson headline the field that includes Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and Sergio Garcia.
We’ll get to see plenty of The King as he makes the rounds and pops into the broadcast booth. Arnold may be aging (83) but he never gets old. And his attraction spans generations and extends well beyond golf.
Now, Kate Upton has fallen under The King’s spell and will spend some time with The King this week. Doug Ferguson has the details, “How a supermodel wound up at Bay Hill explains so much about 83-year-old Palmer, who built his kingdom by being a man of the people.
The manager for Upton is Lisa Benson, whose father is from Punxsutawney and used to play golf regularly with Palmer at Latrobe Country Club. She was looking for a job at IMG, which, in addition to managing sports and entertainment, also represents top models. Her father talked to Palmer, who talked to IMG to arrange an interview. She got the job and years later connected with Upton.
Upton grew up in Melbourne on the central coast of Florida, and her parents were huge Palmer fans. Given the back story, Upton thought it would be a great idea to come to Bay Hill, meet with Palmer and see the work he is doing with the hospitals.”
It’s good being The King.