Stop reading this intro paragraph unless you want to suffer for a few hours. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small, world!

Run it back?

As the PGA Tour heads to Orlando this weekend for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, many golf fans are hoping for a repeat of 2020’s course setup. Bay Hill was firm, the wind was a factor, and the best players in the world had to fight for low scores. Just four players finished the event under par, and Tyrrell Hatton won at four under.

It has been dry in Orlando for about two weeks, and the only rain this week is expected to roll through on Saturday. If Bay Hill is set up well, the Arnold Palmer Invitational could be must-see TV, especially on Sunday when wind speeds should climb into the upper teens. Recent PGA Tour setups at Pebble Beach, Riviera, and the Concession have provided a lot of entertainment. Let’s just hope the Saturday mishap at Riv doesn’t make officials tentative this weekend.

The PGA Tour has had a strong start to 2021, and fiery conditions at Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass would round out a great winter. API Tee Times

Set for Seminole

The USGA announced the 10 players who will represent the United States at the Walker Cup this spring. Captained by Nathaniel Crosby, Team USA will be composed of nine collegiate stars—Tyler Strafaci (Georgia Tech), Davis Thompson (Georgia), Ricky Castillo (Florida), John Pak (Florida St.), Cole Hammer (Texas), Pierceson Coody (Texas), Quade Cummins (Oklahoma), William Mouw (Pepperdine), and Austin Eckroat (Oklahoma St.)—along with 2016 U.S. Mid-Am champion Stewart Hagestad. It’s a deep team, featuring four of the top 10 players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and none ranked lower than No. 23. Press Release

One of the most exciting events in golf, the Walker Cup has distinguished itself in recent years with elite venues. Chicago Golf Club, Royal County Down, National Golf Links of America, Merion, and Royal Lytham & St. Annes have all hosted recently, and this year’s event will take place at Seminole Golf Club. We got a peak at Donald Ross’s oceanside design last summer at the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition, but two days of (hopefully thorough) Walker Cup coverage should give us an even better look at the course. Team USA and Team Great Britain & Ireland will descend on Seminole May 8-9, just ten weeks from now.

Quick Hooks

The LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala, which bizarrely features copycat holes from famous courses, kicks off on Thursday. World No. 1 Jin Young Ko and the Korda sisters will be paired together for the first two rounds. Tee Times

The PGA Tour is partnering with Amazon Web Services to… uh, blah blah technology blah blah buzzwords blah. Among the initiatives are TOURCast, a new leaderboard featuring alternate camera angles and on-demand stats; and Every Shot Live, a platform for watching every shot from a PGA Tour event. There’s also a “data lake” involved? Anyway, some of the stuff does sound legitimately cool. Full Story from Adam Woodard

Nick Faldo, completely out of the blue, dunked on Rickie Fowler’s brand-activating ways on Twitter.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Paulie’s Picks: Arnold Palmer Invitational – Who can take most advantage of Bay Hill’s shortish par 5s and longish par 3s? Paulie has your fantasy needs covered.

Shotgun Start: Facts about Ocala and the distance debate denouement

This Wednesday episode begins with a belated birthday wish for one past Masters champion. Then Brendan and Andy get into the schedule of the week, beginning with the annual stop at Bay Hill. Andy cites the “screened-in porch watching” of this event while Brendan cites a history there for why they enjoy the API. Three things to watch focuses on what could be the distance debate denouement at the 6th hole this week. They try to decipher and translate some of the specifics in the Tour’s big announcement on partnering with Amazon Web Services. Then they get to the LPGA event at Golden Ocala, which they already got into in some detail on Monday’s episode. In this episode, they provide some more information on the Ocala area — notably about private aviation neighborhoods, why it fights Lexington to be horse capital of the world, and a broadcast hijacker living there. There’s also revulsion about some of the drone footage of the tribute holes. News hits on the Walker Cup team announcement, the USGA taking a championship to Puerto Rico, and the possibility of a Euro Tour swing in Florida. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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