The Arnold Palmer Invitational, which celebrates one of the greatest golfers of all time, takes place in Bay Hill, Florida this weekend. While Palmer himself won’t be in attendance after passing away last year, a brand new bronze statue of the PGA Tour legend will be on display at the first and 10th tees in what will surely be an emotional weekend.
A loaded field is set to descend on the Sunshine State, and sportsbooks as well as golf bettors are gearing up for a wild weekend of action.
Rory McIlroy is the +700 favorite at Bovada, with Henrik Stenson (+800), Jason Day (+1400), Hideki Matsuyama (+1400), Rickie Fowler (+1600), Justin Rose (+1800), Thomas Pieters (+3300), Charl Schwartzel (+3300), Brandt Snedeker (+3500) and Paul Casey (+3500) rounding out the top 10.
Thirteen of the top 25 in the world rankings will participate in the event, with Day back to defend his title after claiming the hardware a year ago. The Aussie prevailed in a sprint to the finish thanks to a brilliant up-and-down on the 18th hole to record a one-shot win over Kevin Chappell. After pulling out of the WGC-Mexico two weeks ago with a litany of injuries, Day is reportedly back to full health.
Day’s triumph bucked a trend that doesn’t favor international players. Only six non-Americans have won at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Yankees have claimed the bragging rights 32 times. Be cautious of him this time around, though.
Even though he’s coming off a championship, Day’s previous best finish at the tournament was a tie for 17th. His season hasn’t gotten off the ground yet, so it might be wise to wait on the 29-year-old to find his form before betting on him.
There are 84 bunkers in play at Bay Hill and water is in play on half of the holes. The course was revamped in 2014 to make it easier for the playing public, which has caused the pros to score better every year since. At 7,419 yards, it’s fairly long for PGA Tour standards, and big bombers off the tee traditionally enjoy success with the driver.
Here’s a look at the book’s list of odds. Who are you backing? Have your say in the comments below.
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