Rory McIlroy / Image from Getty Images
You know you’ve fallen on hard times when you’re reading ‘Bay Hill’ as ‘Pay Bill’. Just as well then that we’ve taken up gambling for Lent and the Oracle’s crystal ball has made a timely reappearance ahead of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Well Rory McIlroy is due a win and he defends this week so no surprise that he’s the unbackable man at 7/1. That leaves both Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler on 12/1 which will entice many in the win only market. Fowler added another big T2 at the Honda to his Phoenix win and Rosey’s win at The Farmers is still fresh; he was solo 3rd last year.
Doc’s Top-5 Each Way Bets
Marc Leishman 25/1
An emotional winner here two years ago and placed a very good T7 defending last year. Comes in this year under the radar with form a little hit and miss lately but T4 at The Genesis on his second to last outing and on his day the Aussie is well able to mix it with the best.
Lucas Glover 50/1
Lucas Glover has had some trying moments in his home life but after coming through the Web.com finals, he is having the best start to a PGA Tour season of his career. A T7 at Pebble Beach followed by a T4 last time out at The Honda made it seven top-20 finishes already. Tee to green, he’s a wily old master and when he putts, he contends. Recent best of T7 at Bay Hill in 2017.
Hideki Matsuyama 25/1
Formline reads T19, T9, T15, T3 through Mexico, Genesis, Phoenix and Farmers and Hideki is building in confidence as the season progresses. Still not back to his very best with the putter but when that clicks he will be winning again.
Ian Poulter 50/1
Poults is out at 50/1 not because of his form but due to a recent dismal run at Bay Hill. You have to go back to 2012 for his last good showing here, solo third. But this year the Englishman comes in as the in-form player in the field with four consecutive top-6 finishes from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi and Mexico. It’ll be very interesting to see how he performs close to his home this week.
Si Woo Kim 70/1
Another who the bookies know has had zero luck at Bay Hill through three visits but his putting is just SO good right now, surely he can buck that trend at contend? T4 at Pebble Beach and 3rd last time out at the Genesis.
Long Odds Glory Shots
Michael Thompson 80/1
Another T16 at the Honda last week made it five top-20 finishes in a row for Thompson and I’ll be having a little flutter on him myself at those odds.
Charles Howell 70/1
Second in the stats in Green In Regulation percentage and since getting his win at the RSM, seems an ever presence on the leaderboard. T14 at the Arnie last year.
Bay Hill will play this year at a longer than ever 7,454 yard par 72. The heavy rough has been toughened this year and TifEagle bermudagrass greens are set to run at 13.5 on the stimp. Weather is set to be good with only light wins. Tiger Woods is a non-runner with a minor neck injury.
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