Arnold Palmer Invitational: Looking at the Favorites

By Carl Conrad
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The field for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard, which will take place at Bay Hill is going to be stacked. Eight of the golfers that have won so far on the PGA Tour in 2013 will be teeing it up. Big names like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker litter the list of participants.

Woods is clearly the person that everyone is gunning for this week. He is the defending champion, having won by an impressive five strokes last year. He has won here seven times in the past and is looking for his eighth victory to tie Sam Snead for the most wins at a single event. Oh, and a win will move him to number one in the world. Woods’ putting has been spot on, which is going to make him tough to beat.

It will be interesting to see how Snedeker responds after a six week layoff caused by a rib injury that has puzzled medical professionals. He will certainly be rested and will likely have some rust he needs to shake off. What has yet to be determined is how quickly the FedEx Cup leader will be able to round back into form.

Graeme McDowell finished second to Woods at this tournament last year. He was tied for the lead during the week in fairways hit and greens in regulation. Adverse conditions on Sunday resulted in him carding a 74 and eliminating himself from contention. McDowell has finished in the top 10 in six of his 11 appearances at Bay Hill.

Tiger is clearly the heavy favorite this week, but as we’ve so far in 2013, anything can happen at any event, especially when you consider the crazy weather conditions the pros have faced thus far. Woods may very well be the favorite, but that certainly doesn’t guarantee a victory.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.


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