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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Arnold Palmer Invitational

After a poor showing at the WGC, Twofer Tuesday turns hopeful eyes to the northeast and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton

Bay Hill is such a legendary track that I don't really need to say anything about it, other than "this is the King's tournament." The field will likely be legendary as well since so many players will make their way from the Concession to Bay Hill, only a couple of hours away by car.

Tyrrell Hatton is the defending champion but the most newsworthy participant this week may be Kamaiu Johnson, who received a sponsor's exemption after a positive COVID test kept him out of the Farmers Insurance Open. (You remember his story, I'm sure. His friend Willy Mack III replaced him.) This will be his second PGA Tour start (his first was at the AT&T Pebble Beach).

As for me, I'm still chasing Top10 players. Picking players based on recent form bit me badly last week but I see that as an aberration. Let's give it another try, shall we?

  • My first pick is Viktor Hovland. In his last seven worldwide starts he has a win, two T2s, a T3, a T5 and a T6. Maybe he'll run out of steam this week -- and he's T40 and T42 in his only two starts at the API -- but I just can't bring myself to bet against him. When you go six out of seven, you're a good bet!
  • And my other pick is Rory McIlroy. Since 2017 he's gone T4-win-T6-T5 at Bay Hill, and he was T6 at the Concession last week. I'm hoping to catch him on an upswing in his game, and he has a proven record at Arnie's Place.

GC's live coverage begins at 2pm ET on Thursday. Bay Hill is one of those courses that is always in immaculate shape when the pros show up. Bay Hill may even seem like a vacation after a week at the Concession!

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