The PGA Tour heads to the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend, for the first time since the great man himself passed away. There’s sure to be a somewhat sombre mood in the air, but for Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama, it’s the chance to get a timely win on the board.
With the Masters just three weeks away, the PGA’s top men are running out of time to pick up some form.
And that’s something both Day and Matsuyama may be concerned about.
The Australian landed a 12th at the Tournament of Champions and a fifth at Pebble Beach, but that’s been countered by a missed cut during the Farmers Insurance Open and a lowly 64th at the Genesis Open.
Similarly, while Matsuyama came good to win the Phoenix Open, that result was the American’s sole top-20 finish in his last five events. And that includes an early exit at Genesis.
So, there’s arguably a touch more pressure on both men to perform at Bay Hill this weekend, and our traders have priced each up at 14/1.
But Day in particular should be confident, having won here 12 months ago to kick-start his 2016 campaign.
The favourite is Rory McIlroy at 6/1.
The Northern Irishman appears to have suffered no lasting issues from his rib injury, after coming home seventh at the WGC in Mexico on his last outing.
McIlroy has also had to sit back and watch most of his main rivals land big tournaments during his absence, so plenty will feel the 27-year-old is out to even the score ahead of Augusta.
Rickie Fowler will be well-backed this weekend, with the American in fine form.
Winner of the Honda Classic last month, Fowler has also claimed fourth in Phoenix and 16th in Mexico last time out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing