4 players to watch at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Jason Day Main

Another PGA Tour event, another opportunity to tune things up - or qualify - for the first major of the year at Augusta National.

This week, it's the uber-popular Arnold Palmer Invitational, where a certain Big Cat is making his first start in a long, long time. The event carries a $7m purse - one of the biggest outside the majors, Players Championship and WGCs - and, as a result, has attracted a stellar field.

But who should you be keeping your eye on in particular? We've selected these four players...

Tiger Woods

With Tiger Woods making his first start at Bay Hill since winning in 2013, it’s impossible not to mention him as a player to watch – even more so after his runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship last week. At the event, Woods drew a weekend TV audience bigger than three of last year’s four majors and, being an eight-time winner, if he gets in contention over the weekend you can expect those ratings to climb even higher. He’s the overwhelming favourite to win the event which, if you rewind six months, is absolutely crazy to think.

Jason Day

Whether it’s due to the resurgence of Woods and Phil Mickelson, or the continued brilliance of the likes of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm, or the fact that he’s only teed it up twice this year, Jason Day has flown very much under the radar – despite looking as though he’s back to his best after a difficult 2017. As well as winning the Farmers Insurance Open, Day finished runner-up in his most recent start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. He’s also a past Arnold Palmer Invitational winner, clinching the title in 2016.

Sam Burns

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Sam Burns. From playing with Tiger Woods in the final round of the Honda Classic – where he finished eighth – to giving himself a fighting chance to win the Valspar Championship after 54 holes until a final round stumble, it’s a far cry from a runner-up finish at the Web.com Tour’s Club Colombia Championship just over a month ago. With a strong performance this week at Bay Hill, the 21-year-old could all but secure full PGA Tour playing rights.

Matt Every

There’s something about Matt Every and Bay Hill. The 34-year-old won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 for his only PGA Tour wins to date and, when you look at his career earnings of $8.4m, an incredible $2.4m of that has come at Bay Hill. That’s 28%. At one course. His form in 2018 so far, though, is far from impressive. He’s earned just $75,044 from 13 events. But if anywhere can stir up a performance, it’s here.

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