Arnold Palmer Invitational: Power Rankings
Power Rankings for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
A vast majority of the talk heading into this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill has surrounded Tiger Woods. By now most people are aware that Woods is vying for his record-tying eighth title at this tournament and that he can move to number one in the world with a win in defense of the title he won last year. Despite the multitude of storylines surrounding Woods this week, he isn’t the only person that will be golfing in this tournament.
This is a pretty stacked field, with eight of the eleven Tour winners giving it a go this week at the conclusion of the Florida Swing. Last year’s runner up, Graeme McDowell was one poorly played round away from seriously contending with Woods on Sunday last year.
Several of the top golfers in the world are coming into this event trending very much in the right direction. There are pros playing this week that have made a name for themselves in the last year, as well as those that are looking to solidify their positions among the elite in the game. We’ll also see seasoned veterans with a great deal of experience playing at this particular course trying to move get their games in shape for The Masters, which is only a few short weeks away.
Following you will find profiles of the top five golfers in this week’s power rankings. You may be surprised by some of the people on the list, while others you might consider to be “no-brainers”.
#5 Webb Simpson
Simpson doesn’t have an extensive history at Bay Hill, but he is trending in the right direction with top 20 finishes in each of his last four events. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 20 since the beginning of February, and I expect that to remain the case after this week.
#4 Bubba Watson
You can bet that Watson is gearing up for The Masters so he will be hyper-focused this week in an attempt to get his game fine tuned. He’s comfortable at Bay Hill, having tied for fourth last year. He’s essentially a lock to finish in the top 20, and a top 10 would not be surprising.
#3 Graeme McDowell
G-Mac was the runner up to Woods last year thanks a dreadful final round that saw him card a 74. He should be ready to go, as he took last week off to enjoy two consecutive top 10 finishes prior to his mini-vacation. I anticipate a must more consistent performance from him than what we saw last year.
#2 Keegan Bradley
Bradley has finished in the top 25 in over half of his starts in 2013 (five times in eight events) and has three top 10 finishes as well. Currently 16th in FedEx Cup points and has a scoring average of 69.40. He should have a very nice week at Bay Hill.
#1 Tiger Woods
Surprise, surprise. Tiger is at the top of the power rankings for an event that he has won seven times in the past. He’s also the defending champion. Woods is playing exceptional golf right now and seems to have found his groove on the greens. That’s bad news for the competition. There’s a very real possibility that he’ll be number one in the world when this event is over.