Bay Hill Club & Lodge is the last stop for the PGA Tour in what’s known as the “Florida Swing.” The Arnold Palmer shapes up to be a great tournament again this year with the perfect blend of big name golfers and a few relative unknowns looking for their first win. Last year, it was Martin Laird who won with a score of -8. The course has played very difficult since its 2010 remodel. This week the winning score will most likely be a little lower since the weather appears to be more cooperative than at last year’s event. This has been an event Tiger has owned in the past, but can he come back from a WD to get his first win of the year?
Last week at the Transitions, Luke Donald reclaimed his top spot in the world rankings by winning a 4-man playoff. In our Fantasy CPR Group, the top spot also changed as Tyberius Webb moved into the top spot while scoring a group-high 166 last week. Squatney Leather and MT Cup remain within 10 points of the leader as the 3-entry-breakaway continues. I’m leading the chase pack remaining in 4th after what was a disspointing week last week aside from having Luke Donald secure the winners bonus for me. I lost Schwarzel and Laird so played the weekend with just 3, good thing one of them won or I would’ve plummeted in the standings. As it is, I’m feeling the heat for the 4 spot and the need to close in on the lead group. Here’s how I plan to do just that at the Palmer:
Jim Furyk-Furyk held the lead coming into Sunday and was one of the 3 who lost in the playoff to Luke Donald. This week he’s on the right course for him to bounce back on since he’s been in the top 11 the last 2 years. I’m not a big Furyk-fan, but he’s too good to pass up this week.
Webb Simpson-Simpson has gathered 3 top 10’s already this year including at the Transitions last week. MCs here the last 2 years but did finish T11 in 09.
Justin Rose-Rose won 2 weeks ago at the Cadillac and had 3 good rounds last week with the exception being a +4 Saturday. Last year he was T3 at Bay Hill.
Hunter Mahan-Mahan has been in the top 25 in every event he’s played this year including his win at the Match Play Championship. He has a great record on this track as well with top 25s in 3 of his last 4 starts.
Bubba Watson-Watson was in it to the end at the Cadillac 2 weeks ago where he finished 2nd to Rose and last year played strong until the final round at Bay Hill although he faded to T24. His best finish here was a T8 in 2008.
Ernie Els-The “Big Easy” finished just a shot out of the playoff last week coming off of a t27 and t21 the two previous events he played. He’s won here twice before in 2010 and 1998.
Graeme McDowell- Whenever he plays in PGA events he’s a consideration. He’s coming off consecutive top 15s in 2 stateside events in March. He had a T9 at the Honda and a T13 at the Cadillac 2 weeks ago. His recent history (2 MCs and a t40) isn’t encouraging but did t2 in 2005 and comes in with nice form. It’s a little bit of a gut-call, but I’m going with it this week.
Sang-Moon Bae-I’ve been high on BAe for most of this year on tour. He’s made every cut (which is nice after las week’s struggles in this group for my entry), and had his best finish last week losing in the playoff to Donald. He’s playing well and the young Korean can hopefully find the leaderboard again this Sunday.