This week’s PGA TOUR event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational and is hosted by the par-72 Bay Hill Club and Lodge near Orlando, Fla. The tournament is named for the legendary golfer, who was also the owner of Bay Hill, the location for the event since 1979. It began as the Florida Citrus Open in 1966 at Rio Pinar Country Club in the same region.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has a limited field of 123 players and awards 550 FedEx Cup points for a win. The victor also receives a three-year PGA TOUR playing exemption, an increase over the standard two years for regular TOUR stops.
Tiger Woods, who remains hospitalized following a single-car accident in Los Angeles last week, has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational a record eight times from 2000 to 2013, with the first four coming consecutively. Many TOUR players honored Woods during the final round of last week’s WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession by wearing his trademark red shirt and black slacks.
The last five winners have come from Europe and Australia, with Englishman Tyrell Hatton winning in 2020 with the highest leading score in the tournament’s history. In windy conditions where only one player broke 70 in the final round, Hatton shot a 74 and defeated Marc Leishman by a shot, finishing at 4-under-par 284. Hatton is at +1800 odds for this week.
The favorite this week is Rory McIlroy from Ireland, the 2018 winner and top 10 finisher in the last four Arnold Palmer Invitationals.
Last Week at The Concession
Collin Morikawa rode the momentum from five birdies in a row in Saturday’s third round on the way to a 5-under-par 67, then played well enough on Sunday to finish the tournament at 18-under-par 270. It was three shots better than Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel. Morikawa was one of our three picks to win and paid off at +4650.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Lines
The favorite this week is Rory McIlroy from Ireland, the 2018 winner and top 10 finisher in the last four Arnold Palmer Invitationals. He carries odds of +900 and has been threatening in recent tournaments.
The eighth-ranked player in the world missed the cut two weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational but bounced back with a tie for sixth last week.
His finish at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession was the third top 10 and sixth inside the top 20 in eight starts this season. The four-time major champion won the last of his 18 PGA TOUR titles at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November of 2019.
Behind McIlroy at +1200 is Hovland, the young Norwegian sensation out of Oklahoma State. The 23-year-old has two wins on TOUR, including the Mayakoba Golf Classic in December.
His second-place finish last week was his third consecutive top five finish, including another tie for second at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Bryson DeChambeau is next at +1300, but he hasn’t really been very impressive since his U.S. Open win in September. The seven-time TOUR winner and former U.S. Amateur champion had to recover from an opening-round 77 last week and managed a tie for 22nd.
Other golfers of note are Patrick Reed (+1800), Jordan Spieth (+3000) and Rickie Fowler (+9000).