The Arnold Palmer Invitational | Tuesday 19 March - Sunday 22 March | Bay Hill Country Club
In stark contrast to the Madeira Islands Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational features an incredible field and will be one to keep a close eye on this week. After last week’s disappointment - Jordan Spieth beating my Top Bet Patrick Reed in a playoff - I’m hoping things improve this time around. With the quality of golfers participating finding a winner will be easier said than done. In the past Tiger Woods has dominated at Bay Hill Country Club but he turned down his invitation this week and it feels like the end of an era. Moving on, the course measures an impressive 7,400 yards and is one of the more difficult courses on the Tour and everyone seems to struggle to hit greens in regulation. That means accurate iron play will be the name of the game and the ability to play consistently from tee to green will be rewarded richly. That’s not the end of it though as pressure will be at an all-time high with the Masters just around the corner and everyone will know that a win here will be the perfect way to get into the swing of things.
To Win Outright
Rory McIlroy 5/1
Henrik Stenson 9/1
Bubba Watson 12/1
Jason Day 18/1
Adam Scott 20/1
Henrik Stenson (9/1 a win, 2/1 a place)
Henrik Stenson will arrive in Florida brimming with confidence and looks like he should perform well against a strong field. He’s fared well here his last two times out and that’s due to the fact that the course suits his game to a tee. He strikes the ball as well as anyone and is one of the better tee to green players on the Tour and with the form he’s in at the moment he’ll be one to keep a close eye on this week. 9/1 is pretty short but he’s the second-best player in this field so the Swede is still worth a bet.
Keegan Bradley (33/1 a win, 73/10 a place)
Keegan Bradley is one of the few players, bar Tiger Woods, who always fares well here so at 33/1 he looks a great price. He pulled off an impressive T3 in 2013 and a second in 2014 and although consistency hasn’t been his strong point this season if he plays like he did at Riviera he’ll have a real chance this week. Each way on Bradley is the bet for me.
Webb Simpson (55/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
Webb Simpson has the all-round game to do well against this field so despite the fact that he’s not been playing at his best he’s worth a bet this week. He’s one of the most rounded golfers on the Tour when he’s at his best and he strikes the ball as well as anyone . A great player from tee to green, he has what it takes to hit a lot of fairways and greens and with his ability with the putter he could make more than his share of birdies this week. 55/1 seems a huge price on this former US Open champion so get on early.
Harris English (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
Harris English isn’t an obvious bet this week but when you look at his recent form he starts to look like a great prospect at 35/1. He finished inside the Top 10 last week against stiff competition and that was mainly due to his final round 65, a round that will stand him in good stead as he heads to the difficult Bay Hill Country Club. He’s a great striker of the ball and finds more greens in regulation than most players and with his ability to sink long putts he should make a lot of birdies. Each way on English is my Top Bet this week, let’s hope we can avoid the disappointment of a play-off loss this time around.