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PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds

PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Should Tiger Woods win this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, he would tie Sam Snead’s record for most wins — eight — at a single Tour event and also return to No. 1 in the world. Wouldn’t be a bad week at all considering Tiger announced he was dating Lindsey Vonn earlier this week. Woods is the overwhelming +250 favorite on

This week’s field 32 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings, with four from the Top 10: Tiger, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson. There are 13 players from 11 to 25 in the rankings: Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson, Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney, Ernie Els and Bo Van Pelt. The field includes 19 of the Top 25 of this year’s PGA Tour  money list. It also includes nine past champions: Tiger (2000, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’08, ’09 & ’12), Martin Laird (2011), Ernie Els (1998 & 2010), Vijay Singh (2007), Rod Pampling (2006), Chad Campbell (2004), Tim Herron (1999), Mickelson (1997) and Robert Gamez (1990). The field also features eight of the PGA Tour ’s 11 winners thus far in 2013.

Snedeker, whose first five starts produced a win, two runner-up finishes and a third, returns after a five-week layoff to rest a rib injury. He still leads the FedExCup race, 177 points ahead of Woods. British Open titleholder Ernie Els, twice a winner at Bay Hill, returns after a week off to rest a hip ailment.

Bay Hill averaged 73.176 in 2012, third-highest among 20 par 72s used in non-majors. Its length (7,419 yards) and wind serve as perennial challenges, but primarily Bermuda greens that can run up to 12 on the Stimpmeter offer nuance that requires experience. Of the 33 rookies to compete in this event over the last four years, only Bud Cauley (T4, 2012) has posted a top 10.

Last year, Woods ended a two-year winless drought on the Tour in convincing fashion, going five strokes lower than runner-up Graeme McDowell. Woods either led or co-led the field in greens in regulation, par breakers, par-4 scoring average, par-5 scoring average and scrambling. He also finished fourth in strokes gained-putting. Two weeks ago, he picked off his fifth victory in the last 12 months with a wire-to-wire, two-stroke triumph at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He’s back on his game.

Mickelson and Justin Rose are +1600 on Lefty hasn’t cracked the top 20 in any of his last five trips to Bay Hill. He tied for third two weeks ago at TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral. Mickelson ranks 20th in GIR and 13th in adjusted scoring. Rose arrives with 12 consecutive top-25s in tow, including a T8 at the WGC-Cadillac. He shared third place at Bay Hill in 2011 and tied for 15th last year.

Sergio Garcia (+2000 on continues to play well. His T7 at Copperhead last week was his 13th consecutive top 25 worldwide. He ranked third last week in total driving, T6 in greens hit and eighth in strokes gained-putting. Six top-10s in 11 appearances at Bay Hill.

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