PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will now receive the Arnold Palmer Award

Associated Press (1969)

PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will now receive the Arnold Palmer Award

PGA Tour

PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will now receive the Arnold Palmer Award

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The PGA Tour returns to Orlando this week, and that means its annual stop at Arnie’s Place.

Or, as this event is officially known, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge.

Palmer’s effect on the game of golf is incalculable, if not infinite. But that doesn’t mean the PGA Tour and the rest of the golf community has to stop finding new and appropriate ways to honor the King’s legacy.

Now, as a tribute to the late Arnold Palmer, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will now receive the Arnold Palmer Award, it was announced Monday.

“Arnold Palmer was golf’s greatest ambassador with his go-for-broke style of play, his charitable endeavors and his true passion and respect for the game and its fans,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement. “A thumbs up, a wink, a carefully signed autograph, a thank you – simple gestures like these passed on by Mr. Palmer to countless young players helped shape their character, on and off the golf course.”

Robert Gamez won the first PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award in 1990. Among this two victories that year, a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he holed out from the fairway on the 72nd hole at Bay Hill Club. A marble plaque on the right side of the 18th fairway commemorating that shot  remains in place today.

There are 12 former ROY winners playing at Bay Hill this week: Daniel Berger (2015), Keegan Bradley (2011), Ernie Els (1994), Rickie Fowler (2010), Robert Gamez (1990), Chesson Hadley (2014), Charles Howell III (2001), Marc Leishman (2009), Vijay Singh (1993), Brandt Snedeker (2007), Aaron Wise (2018) and Tiger Woods (1996).

The Arnold Palmer Award trophy was previously awarded to the Tour’s season-long money-leader.

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