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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Twofer Tuesday stumbles out of a poor showing at the Bear Trap, in hopes of better hunting at the home of the King.

Defending champion Francesco Molinari) width=

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is almost as legendary as the King himself. Bay Hill challenges players year after year, always offering us dramatic finishes. Tiger has eight wins here although we won't be seeing him this year; his back is still a bit stiff and he's clearly looking toward Sawgrass.

That doesn't mean the field isn't stacked. Trust me, it is. And while the pros definitely want a win at one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year, they're also (like Tiger) looking toward Sawgrass. But that three-year exemption has got to be a least a small distraction!

The defending champion is Francesco Molinari but it has to be said -- he just hasn't been the same since hitting that ball into the creek on #12 at the Masters last year. I hesitate to blame his lackluster performances since then on that; I just have trouble believing a single shot could unravel a game as solid as Francesco's was. But it seems clear that it was a contributing factor. Returning to Bay Hill might be just what he needs to find his game again.

However, I'm not going to gamble on that. The poor performances of my Twofer Tuesday picks last week means I need some sure things this time around. The real question is: Are there any sure things at Bay Hill?
  • My first Top10er seems to be a no-brainer. Rory McIlroy has been a virtual Top5 machine over the last few months and he's also a past winner at Bay Hill (2018). How can I not take him this week when he's been delivering exactly what I need?
  • My other Top10er is Henrik Stenson. He had posted four API Top5s in a row until last year's T17. If he's healthy, his game is a great fit for Bay Hill. Granted, he doesn't have a lot of good performances since his win at the Hero, but this is pretty much a home game for him since he lives in Orlando. If he's going to break out of a slump, this is the place for him to do it!
GC's live coverage begins at 2pm ET on Thursday. And while I've pretty much taken chalk picks in hopes of improving my pick percentage, I actually think Rory has a great chance to win this week. We'll find out soon enough!

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