Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview & Fantasy Picks
When I hear the name Arnold Palmer, I'm immediately intrigued by what will follow. One of the greatest golfers to play the game, Palmer continues to be an ambassador for the game of golf in many ways. One of them is hosting the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida.
If you're around my age, the words "Bay Hill" mean only one thing, Tiger woods. From the years 2000 to 2010, Tiger won this event six times. He put together four consecutive wins from 2000-2004 and then back to back wins in 2008 and 2009. He has been the dominant force here and as he looks for his first win since 2009, I can't help but wonder if it will happen this weekend.
Last year it was Ernie Els who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the second time in his career. The first came in 1998, a span of 12 years between victories. While Els looks for his third win here and Tiger looks for his seventh, players like Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson will look to win for the first time at Bay Hill and carry momentum into The Masters.
Three Groups to Watch at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
3. Jhonattan Vegas, Ian Poulter & Ernie Els: I listed Els' credentials above. Having won twice at this event and the wins coming 12 years apart proves he can win here at any time. I'm waiting for Ian Poulter to break through for his first win in 2011. He's in contention most weeks and just a few breaks might earn him a win. Jhonattan Vegas has become an icon on TOUR. Sure his name helps but winning earlier this season combined with a 3rd place finish has made him a front runner for Rookie of the Year.
2. Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson & Tiger Woods: It looked like Dustin Johnson was going to earn his first win 0f 2011 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship before Nick Watney edged him out. He has three top 10's this year and is one of the most talented players in the world. I made him my pick to win this week and he's always fun to watch. If you win an event six times you're automatically on my list of players to watch. I don't think anyone would be surprised if Tiger wins this event and puts an end to his winless streak. Congratulations to Gary Woodland . Imagine how you would celebrate after your first win and then try to play golf. I'll be watching but he gets a pass this week.Continued on the next page