Golf Weekly Preview – Arnold Palmer Invitational

With no European Tour action, all eyes – as if they wouldn’t be anyway – are on the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and one man – Tiger Woods.

The comeback is well and truly on, after his second placed finish at the Valspar Championship – he is now favourite for this weekend’s tournament at the legendary Bay Hill.

And it is little wonder Woods’s name is on everyone’s lips – given he was taken this title eight times before, so he is clearly aware of the what awaits him this weekend.

Valspar Championship

  • Staged at the Bay Hill Club, Florida
  • First staged in 1979
  • Current champion is Marc Leishman

FIELD: There is only one man on everyone’s lips in the shape of Tiger Woods, but this is a real high quality field. Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose are amongst the big-name Major winner who will also tee-up, along with home favourites Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson. With Hideki Matsuyama and Tommy Fleetwood also involved, this is one of the best fields we have seen this year.

QUOTES: Despite eight wins in this competition, Woods has not played here since 2013 and he insists victory is not assured. “Just because I won here eight times doesn’t mean I’m going to win this week automatically. I still have got to do the work. I still have to go through the process of getting myself in position, but I understand this golf course. I’ve got to do some serious homework tomorrow though, and I really have to get to know and get the feel of how this golf course is playing this particular year, considering I haven’t played here in five years.”

ODDS provided by Betfair: Jordan Spieth 15/2 Rory McIlroy 12/1 Sergio Garcia 14/1 Henrik Stenson 18/1 Justin Rose 20/1  Paul Casey 28/1 Tiger Woods 28/1 Tony Finau 30/1 Adam Hadwin 33/1 Adam Scott 33/1 Webb Simpson 33/1 Webb Simpson 33/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

Another strong field – would love Tiger to win, like every proper golf fan – but aside from him I can see Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson going well.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

Welcome to the Tiger Woods show.

After going oh so close last week, the great man is back to his customary position at the top of the betting ahead of a return to a course where he has eight wins to his name.

Having finished runner-up last week, Woods is 11/2 to go one better this time.

Warning: he’s up against a very good field.

Next in the betting is Jason Day, the 2016 winner, at 11/1; Justin Rose, the 2013 runner-up behind Woods and fifth last week, at 14/1; Rory McIlroy, who finished fourth on the course came last year, is 16/1, and the only other man under the 20/1 mark is Rickie Fowler, at 18/1.

The next phalanx of contender is made up of European Ryder Cup hopefuls with 20/1 Tommy Fleetwood, 22/1 Tyrell Hatton, 25/1 Alex Noren and Henrik Stenson.


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