Woods chasing another career milestone

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational | Preview | 20 Mar 2013

The PGA Tour moves from the west to the east coast of Florida for this week’s Arnold Palmer Championship at the Bay Hill Club where Tiger Woods chases his 8th win at the venue.

Woods has shown a great propensity for winning on the same golf course on a regular basis. His record at Bay Hill, Torrey Pines, Firestone Country Club and Doral Resort and Spa bears testimony to that and given his recent run of good form he appears likely to continue that trend this week.

Woods has won twice in four PGA Tour starts this season including a last start victory at the WGC Cadillac event so he will start an overwhelming favourite to join Sam Snead and Karrie Webb as winners on the same event on eight occasions.

Sergio Garcia has recorded six top tens in eleven starts at Bay Hill and his great run of recent form suggests he can at least add to that run. Garcia has been 3rd and 7th in his last two starts this season so his chances look very good.

Phil Mickelson played this event well earlier in his career but in more recent times that has not been the case. Mickelson though is playing well of late including a 3rd place finish at Doral and a win in Phoenix.

Brandt Snedeker returns to tournament golf after a break of five or so weeks to allow a rib injury to heal and provided he is 100% there appears no reason he can’t take up where he left off when in his three most recent starts he twice finished runner-up and won at Pebble Beach

In six starts at Bay Hill Snedeker has not yet recorded a top ten finish so that is a concern for those looking for a successful return to tournament golf.

Jim Furyk has not been at his best of late but neither has he been too far from it. He does have a solid record in this event in recent years and although he has not won anywhere for more than two years this offers a reasonable chance.

Ernie Els has not played great of late but he has made his last seventeen cuts and on a golf course where he has experienced success there might just exist an opportunity to step up to the plate. Els won the event in 2010 and in 2012 finished 4th.

Justin Rose has been on a remarkable run of consistency of late finishing inside the top ten in seven of his last eleven starts. Rose has played well enough at this venue having finished 3rd in 2011 and 15th last year. I like his chances this week.

Ten Australians are in the field headed by Jason Day who does not enjoy a good record at Bay Hill. Day has played well this season though and could improve on his previous best of 25th in three starts in the event.

Geoff Ogilvy desperately needs a good finish in the next few weeks to consolidate his position inside the top 50 and be assured of a visit to Augusta National. Ogilvy has not played at Bay Hill since 2008. His runner-up finish at the Honda Classic aside there has not been a lot to get excited by this season.

Greg Chalmers recorded his best PGA Tour finish in more than two years when 4th last week in Tampa. Chalmers, too, is only one good week away from a start at Augusta National as he is currently 60th in the world ranking and needs to be inside the top 50 the week before the Masters.

Chalmers’ problem is a poor record at this venue but he is playing some of his best golf at present.

Other Australians in the field are Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, John Senden, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Rod Pampling.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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