ORLANDO – Henrik Stenson entered this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational as one of the favorite’s to win. He exited Bay Hill on Friday, having missed his first cut (non-withdrawal) since The Players last year.
And what a watery exit it was. Stenson, the world’s fifth-ranked player, hit his approach shot at the par-4 11th hole into the water. His ball, though, was playable as it was right off the shoreline. So Stenson took his shoes off, rolled up his pants and took a swing.
Splash! One problem: the ball reached land but rolled back down the slope, still in the hazard. One problem soon became four as Stenson needed four shots to clear the hazard.
His triple-bogey-7 on the hole was a low-point for Stenson, who shot 75-74 and finished at 5 over, falling two shots short of the cut line, which was 3 over. (In all, 72 players made the cut.)
But Stenson wasn’t the only player in the 120-man field to miss out on playing the weekend at Arnie’s Place:
- Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, missed the cut by one after shooting 74-74. He did nearly make a hole-in-one on Thursday, though, and he carried himself exceptionally all week.
- Brooks Koepka bogeyed his final two holes Friday to shoot 70 and miss the cut by a shot at 4 over. Koepka has now missed four cuts in his last five Tour starts where a cut has been implemented.
- John Daly’s chances of making the weekend looked somewhat promising after an opening 2-over 74. But Daly shot 77 Friday to finish at 7 over.
- Vijay Singh opened with 79, then improved by 10 shots with a second-round 69. He still missed the cut by a shot.
- Curtis Luck, the defending U.S. Amateur champion, was on his way to missing the cut before signing for an incorrect scorecard and getting disqualified. His next start will come at the Masters.
- The other amateur, Vanderbilt senior Matthias Schwab, making his first PGA Tour start, shot 74-76. (Had he made par instead of triple bogey on his final hole Thursday, Schwab would’ve made the cut on the number.)
- Billy Hurley, who made his pro debut at Bay Hill in 2006, shot 75-74.