The PGA Tour stays in Florida this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of just five ‘invitational’ PGA Tour events. With a $6.2 million purse, there’s a strong field heading to Bay Hill including an eight time winner of the tournament.
Keep reading for our golf betting preview of this weekend’s event, with all the odds for the event in our Arnold Palmer betting markets.
Opportunity for low scoring at Bay Hill
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has been played at Bay Hill since back in 1979. It was only five years ago that the course ranked as the most difficult in relation to par of all courses hosting a non-major.
Since it has been a par 72 – for the last five years – scoring has been good with a score of -13 being needed to win in the last two years.
Eight-time winner Woods leads the betting
Because this is an invitational event, experience is a huge benefit to winning this tournament, for no other reason than a considerable amount of the qualifying criteria favours tour players that have competed in it at least once before.
Since 1980, the only golfer to win in his debut was Robert Gamez in 1990, and that was thanks to an eagle on the 72nd hole to pip Greg Norman by one stroke.
The man with all the experience at Bay Hill is the eight time former champion. In 2003, Tiger Woods won this event for the fourth consecutive year – one of just four occasions when a golfer has won the same event four times in a row on the PGA Tour. Woods has since won the event a further four times, most recently in 2012 and 2013, and so is the clear 6/1 favourite to triumph again.
It’s not been a vintage year for Woods. His rounds have varied from a 62 at the Northwestern Mutual to a 78 at the Cadillac and his best finish since the turn of the year was the T25 last time out. Back problems have hampered him but if he hits a run of form he could easily blitz this event.
Bubba Watson is arguably the form player on the PGA Tour win a T2, win and T2 in his last three strokeplay tournaments. He finished T4 at Bay Hill in 2012 and should go well at 13/1 here.
Justin Rose and Graeme McDowall have both finished second to Tiger at this event in recent years and could also feature strongly on Sunday. Rose finished two shots behind with an excellent 277 in 2013 and can be backed at 13/1 while McDowall shot 280 in 2012 and is 21/1.
Outsiders to watch
We tipped George McNeill at the Valspar Championship last week and the 39 year old gave us a great run for our money, eventually finishing 7th. He is a man in great form and arrives at Bay Hill on the back of four straight top 20 finishes. He’s made the cut on his last four appearances at the Arnold Palmer with a best finish of T22 and could be a lively each way bet at a tasty 66/1.
Ryan Moore has recorded a win and three further top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season and is another with good experience at Bay Hill. He finished T12 in 2011 and T4 in 2012 and is a combined 68 under par for the eight strokeplay events he has competed in this season. Moore offers great value here at 35/1.
Scotsman Martin Laird won this event in 2011 and is available at 66/1 while Robert Garrigus was dominating last week’s Tour event before stumbling to a 75 in his final round end ending up T4. The 36 year old can be backed at 66/1.
The event starts at 11.30am on Thursday, March 20th. Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational over at our main site at www.betbright.com/golf.