Last week was a difficult beat. We had Goosen (60 to 1) enter the final round in the lead and unfortunately was dealing with his injured back. We also had Webb Simpson make a Sunday charge but end up just short off the playoff due to a few easy putts he missed. Luke Donald went onto win in a very exciting 4 man playoff and once again become world number 1.
We push on to find our next diamond in the rough at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This week the best players in the world will be teeing it up at the beautiful and historic Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Last year’s champion Martin Laird (who we had) will be defending his title against a plethora of young talents and the world’s best.
Bay Hill is a Par 72 7400 yard beast of a course. Historically one of the more difficult stops on the PGA Tour, Bay Hill will force the players to be at their best this week. Arnold Palmer is the figure head of this beautiful course and it is exactly the design he loves. Players will have the opportunity to blast their drivers to large and welcoming fairways. Length will be a key this week but the players will also have to be hitting Greens in Regulation. Arnold Palmer has bunkers placed perfectly to eat up golf balls off drives and on the player’s approaches. With 103 bunkers around the course you will be hard pressed to find a player who does not spend some time in the beach this week.
The Course record is shared by Greg Norman (1984) and Andy Bean (1981) who both posted blistering 62’s. The course has been lengthened by 300 yards since then, but the players also hit the ball much further now. If you are looking for a hole in one to take place this week be sure to watch the 2nd and the 17th. Over the years, 9 out of the 13 recorded hole in ones have come on these two holes.
The 18th hole is by far the most difficult at Bay Hill. For someone to take the title this week they will have to manoeuvre around this daunting Par 4. It will be playing 458 yards this week and every player will be faced with some nerves on their approach. The fairway is large, straight, and wide open for the players to hit. A large water hazard protects the green and is on the right side of the fairway. Three bunkers to the back of the kidney shaped green will eat up plenty of golf balls this week. The players who do find these bunkers are then faced with a downhill chip shot with water just past the edge of the green. Expect to see some interesting scores on this difficult hole.
We have 2 of the world’s Top 10 golfers in the field this week (Webb Simpson 7th, Justin Rose 8th). Tiger Woods will join these two Top golfers this week, returning after having to withdraw due to a leg injury from his last tournament. Tiger loves Bay Hill as he has tasted victory in 6 of his 15 starts at this venue. Could this be his week finally? (I don’t think so, though I feel he will play well). Along with the top players in the world, this week’s field will have 15 players who have won majors in it.
Last year Martin Laird defeated Steve Stricker by one shot to take the championship. His final score was -8, a total that should be beat this week based on the projected weather conditions (Wet conditions projected before the tournament, and the only day that has a chance of rain is Friday.) Look for the winning score to be in the -13 range.
Steve’s Six Pack System Picks for Arnold Palmer Invitational
As always the picks are sent to those who have signed up for a membership only.
Included in the picks are my six pack system picks, with players paying out as high as 85 to 1 ($100 bettors to win $8,500) and 3 head to head picks.
I will include a “sneak peak” of one of the six picks from the six pack system below for non-members.
Exclusive Sneak Peak Pick –> Bo Van Pelt (32 to 1) – We will also be going with the hot hand in Bo Van Pelt. Bo has been on fire as of late, finishing the Top 10 in his last 4 stroke play events (T8, T8, T8 and 9th). He has done this through excellent putting (3rd Strokes gained through putting) and great driving (5th in Total Driving). Some other statistics I like are his 48th in Greens in Regulation, 3rd in Birdie average, and his past record here (7 for 7 in cuts). Bo is a solid veteran who will not be affected by the magnitude of this event. The players look forward to the opportunity to possibly shake Arnolds hand at the end of the week, a meeting that could be in Bo’s future.
You’re going to want to place a wager on all six of my golfers (plus head-to-head picks) that are sent to members only. Click here to get access to all of my picks.