Arnold Palmer Invitational is special for Tiger Woods

UPDATE: Sunday’s weather postponed the final round to Monday. GOLF CHANNEL will air the conclusion of the tournament beginning at 10am ET. From GOLF:

Golf Channel will air final round coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard live on Monday beginning at 10 a.m. ET through the tournament’s conclusion.

Immediately following the conclusion of the tournament, Golf Channel will switch to live coverage of Day One of the Tavistock Cup at Isleworth Golf & Country Club, where the 16 players not playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational will be in competition.  Live coverage will air until 5 p.m. ET, followed by an hour-long Golf Central.

From the Tavistock Group: Tomorrow’s Tavistock coverage will feature a medal better ball format-score relative to par. Tomorrow’s round will not count toward the Tavistock Cup results on Tuesday. Tavistock Cup will be reduced to an 18-hole singles stroke play format on Tuesday.

Morning Drive also will extend coverage from 7-10 a.m. ET on Monday to preview the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and Tavistock Cup coverage.

Golf Channel Monday Programming Schedule (all times Eastern)
7-10 a.m.   Morning Drive
10 a.m.-conclusion  Final Round Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Following API-5 p.m.  Day One Tavistock Cup Coverage
5-6 p.m.  Golf Central

The Arnold Palmer Invitational could very well be called the Tiger Woods Invitational, because Woods has has won the Orlando tournament seven times over the course of his career. If he manages to win it this weekend, it will tie him with Sam Snead as the only players to win a PGA Tour event eight times.

Beginning today with coverage on Golf Channel (details are below), the Arnold Palmer Invitational takes place at the 7,419-yard, par-72 Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Palmer said in a press conference this week that the course is in great shape and that the set-up over the years has obviously been conducive to Woods’ game.

“The golf course is about as good as its ever been for this tournament,” he said. “[Tiger] played well here from the first time he came here [as a junior golfer].It suits his game from the standpoint of if he can drive it in the right position, most of the time the shots into the greens will give him an opportunity.”

Added Woods: “”Arnold Palmer’s been great over the years to, not just myself, but to all the players out here. Any time you can come back and support what he’s doing, it’s very special to us.”

Woods is certainly hot having won the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Challenge two weeks ago, but he will certainly be challenged by a great field this week. Among those competing are Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose. Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson.

For those who are not college basketball junkies, the NBC Sports Group will provide its own version of March Madness with nearly 80 total hours of news and tournament action — 22 live hours of tournament coverage on NBC and Golf Channel. Here is the live coverage (all times Eastern):

Thursday: 3-6 pm, Golf Channel

Friday:  3-6pm, Golf Channel

Saturday: 12:30-2:30pm,  Golf Channel; 2:30-6pm,  NBC

Sunday: 12:30-2:30pm,  Golf Channel; 2:30-6pm,  NBC

When NBC picks up the live coverage Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Golf Channel will be on the air live from 2:30-5pm ET with its exclusive Spotlight coverage of holes 16-18. The 18th hole, with its kidney-shaped green fronted by rocks and water, is one of the toughest finishing holes on the PGA Tour and should provide plenty of drama this weekend. Calling the action for Spotlight coverage will be Brian Hammons, joined by analyst Curt Byrum. Phil Parkin will be in a tower position and Phil Blackmar will report from the golf course. Todd Lewis will conduct post-round interviews.

Over the next four days, the 18th tower broadcast teams will include Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel), and Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller (NBC). Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will report from tower positions, while Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Notah Begay will walk with the players on the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. Jimmy Roberts’ signature essays will be highlighted during weekend coverage.