One of the most iconic courses on the PGA Tour plays host this week, as some of the world’s best take on Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Floridian track has produced some very memorable moments over the years, more often than not by Tiger Woods, who has won the tournament an incredible eight times.
This event doesn’t always go to the market leader with Matt Every, the winner back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, a double-figure price on both occasions. Taking this into account, here are a couple of each-way fancies for this year’s renewal that have the potential to outrun their odds.
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This week’s first fancy is Marc Leishman at a juicy looking 33/1. That sort of price is never something to be sniffed at but, given Leishman’s credentials at this tournament, it looks a very tempting betting proposition. The Australian has taken a shining to Bay Hill with three top-10s since 2011, including a one-stroke victory in 2017. It’s a course he has gone on record as saying he feels very comfortable on.
He has already won on the PGA Tour this season and, whenever someone wins at Torrey Pines like Leishman did in January, it should be noted. Woods is a prime example of how course form there correlates well with course form at Bay Hill and this week’s test looks a prime opportunity for the 36-year-old to get his second win of the season.
He hasn’t been at his best in his last two starts, but past results show he has a tendency to follow a poor tournament with a stellar one. Prior to his win in 2017, his best finish was a tie for 20th, while he had only two top-10s since July before he won the Farmers Insurance at Torrey earlier this year.
As comebacks go, Tyrrell Hatton’s return to competitive golf at the WGC-Mexico Championship was pretty close to perfection. Having had surgery over Christmas to correct a troublesome wrist injury, the Englishman ranked ninth for SG off the tee, ninth for SG on approach, sixth for SG around the green and first for SG tee to green – hugely impressive stats for someone who hadn’t played a competitive round since 24th November.
Though still yet to win on the PGA Tour, he finished fourth at PGA National in 2017 – one of the most difficult courses around – as well as the same position here a week later. He was also in contention 12 months ago coming into the final day, but a disappointing Sunday saw him finish 29th. However, seven encouraging rounds from 12 played at Bay Hill is nothing to be sniffed at and despite his impressive performance in Mexico, he still looks a more than fair price of 45/1.
That sixth-place finish in Mexico continued an outstanding run of form for Hatton since Wentworth last September where his results read; 15, 18, 6, 14, 1, 46, 6. He clearly thrives when mixing it with the best and if his putter can warm up a bit, he has the credentials to get properly involved here.