The stars aligned for us this year and we finally made it to Bay Hill. Advised by friends that the early-week events are favorites among the locals, we took advantage of the Monday-Wednesday pass and absorbed as much as we could hold, including Arnie's March Against Children's Cancer.
|The Golf Channel Studio|
|Bay Hill Lodge and Putting Green|
|Jason Dufner (far left) on the putting green|
|Mr. Palmer and Hunter Mahan interview on the range|
|Trophy Tent and List of Champions|
|A Garden Variety Golfer at Bay Hill's 18th|
|18th approach, and if it isn't Arnie's house, it should be!|
|18th Tee Box|
|Angel Cabrera kicking a mini soccer ball to his caddy|
|Snedeker on the 13th tee|
|Ryo Ishikawa on the 9th tee|
If you play golf, you'll understand when we say that you can recognize a player across 3 fairways whether it's a friend or a pro by the way he walks, swings or wears a hat. This next picture is labeled but you probably already know that it's Phil Mickelson by his step and his visor. Out of camara shot is his gallery that followed him everywhere, even during practice rounds.
|Johnson Wagner (blue shirt) followed by the divot crew!|
|New Bay Hill Residents|
|Spring comes to the range.|
Wednesday, March 20th
Pro-Am Day, where laid-back meets tournament, where playing with your buddies is nothing like this! Whatever the charitable contribution is to play with the pro's, it has to be worth it. It's worth it just to be a spectator.
Again we entered by the 6th hole, which at Bay Hill is the place to be. The junction of 3, 4, 5 and 6 showcase so much at one time that you don't know where to look. Tiger's group was first off that morning and so by the time we settled in he was coming down the pike.
|Tiger on the 4th tee|
|Tiger and gallery|
|Tiger and Ams on their 4th tee|
|Bubba Watson on the 3rd green|
|Bubba, 4th tee|
and soon after that came Ricky Fowler.
|Ricky Rowler and his Ams on their 4th Tee|
This section of the course loops up and back to the perilous 6th tee shot across a HUGE lake. It was the perfect spot to watch these heavy hitters bomb away. Spectators speculated on what they would aim for. Bubba must have aimed for the camara tower giving him weeeellll over a 300 yard drive. We think we saw him come out of his shoes, too!
It was by no means the end of the day, but our last shot is of Graeme McDowell. His Irish Brogue enchants you. Much of the gallery had started to move along with the earlier starters and the opportunity arose to ask for an autograph. After he teed off on the 4th, he sprawled his Sharpie across our pairings sheet. We were taking home a trophy!
|Graeme McDowell and Ams on the 3rd green|