The PGA Tour and the Florida Swing roll on heading to Bay Hill for the 2014 edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 11 of the world’s top 20 have entered the field with a goal of winning a tournament hosted by an all-time great. It is a tournament with a rich history, while operating as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and prior as the Bay Hill Invitational. The event has been a tour stop since 1979. Tiger Woods, sore back and all, will be in attendance defending his title for the eighth time which is a record he holds with Sam Snead.
The Bay Hill Club & Lodge will be the host course, as usual, for the event. The course boasts a par 72, 7,419 yard layout. An original Dick Wilson designed track was loved so much by Arnold Palmer that he ended up buying the course. Of course it would not be an Arnold Palmer design if he did not make changes over the years. Nothing wrong with that as Arnie is one of the premier course designers in the world. Will Tiger stand alone with nine wins at one event after this week? Will someone else come through in the clutch and take the title. Predictions and picks are never easy for any golf tournament but Bay Hill and Tiger go hand-and-hand, a healthy Tiger anyway. His condition could turn the Arnold Palmer Invitational into a free for all.
Thursday-Friday: Golf Channel-3-6 PM EST
Saturday-Sunday: Golf Channel-12:30-2 PM EST and NBC- 2-6 PM EST
$6.2 million total purse, $1.116 million winners share
Arnold Palmer Invitational Sleeper – Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler is a player that all would agree is full of talent but just cannot seem to string them together. Many would have said he would be a multiple time PGA Tour winner by now but he is still stuck on one. Outside of the a great run to finish third at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Flower has not had a great start to 2014 but did play steady two tournaments back en route to a tie for 24 at the Honda Classic. Fowler did play very well here last year finishing tied for third place and if it wasn’t for a bogey-triple bogey on 15 and 16 in last year’s final round things just might have been different. As a sleeper you would be hard pressed not to want to take a flyer on Rickie Fowler.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Pick – Tiger Woods
I can hear it now: “Tiger to win, what a stretch.” What would you expect to see when Tiger has won this event eight times, tied with Sam Snead for the most wins at a single event all-time. The reality is that if Tiger puts a peg in the ground at Bay Hill it is his tournament to lose. Sometimes the obvious choice is just the right choice. It is golf so anything can happen but it is Tiger and its Bay Hill so you have to like his chances.
Everything about Tiger this week will come down to his health. It is no secret that Tiger has a sore back proven by his withdrawal in the final round of the Honda Classic and the obvious pain that he finished in two weeks ago at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. It is convenient to attribute his un-Tiger like play to his ailing back and until proven otherwise I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been undergoing treatment for his injured back and did not play last week so he should be ready to play.
Normally I would barrage you with stats that back up the pick to win’s playing state and how primed they are for a victory but this week I will leave you with just one number, eight. When you win an event eight times in your career and you are in the field you are the favorite. If his swing is not affected and his back holds up I would not be surprised to see another image of Arnold Palmer and Tiger smiling while he holds the trophy.
Who will win the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational?
- Other (Please Leave Comment) (47%, 24 Votes)
- Tiger Woods (41%, 21 Votes)
- Rickie Fowler (12%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 51