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Henrik Stenson tops Bay Hill invitees

World number five Henrik Stenson will make his debut at the $5.5-million Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida next week.

The in-form Swede will spearhead a top-class international field at the PGA Tour event in Orlando from March 15-18, said a report on the tournament's official Web site

Among the other challengers at the Bay Hill Club will be 1998 champion Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Nick O'Hern, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Stenson is riding the crest of a golfing wave, having collected back-to-back victories at last month's Dubai Desert Classic and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The 30-year-old from Gothenburg became the highest-ranking Swede of all time after beating Geoff Ogilvy at the 36-hole match play final in Tucson, Arizona.

Stenson's performance impressed U.S. Open champion Ogilvy.

"He suffers from the fact he plays most of his golf outside the U.S. so people in the U.S. don't talk about what he does," said the Australian. "But he's been winning tournaments for three or four years.

"He can win anything he wants. He hits it long, chips and putts pretty well and is not afraid to win golf tournaments."

Ogilvy's fellow Australian Rod Pampling will be the defending champion at the event formerly known as the Bay Hill Invitational.


March 8, 2007

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