Golf Tips: Best bets for Arnold Palmer Invitational and Jonsson Workwear Open

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
British golfer Matt Fitzpatrick
Steve Rawlings is backing Matt Fitzpatrick (above) at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational

Get the best bets for this week's triple bill of gold events - Arnold Palmer Invitational, Jonsson Workwear Open and Puerto Rico Open - from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and more experts...

  • 39/140.00 Matt looks a good Fit for the Arnold Palmer

  • 20/121.00 Burns brings strong stats to Bay Hill

  • 50/151.00 Green can hit the heights in South Africa

  • Arnold Palmer Invitational Tips and Predictions

    The Punter: Fitzpatrick fancied at 39/1

    Steve Rawlings: "Links form has come to fore here over the years and more recently, for at the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club has been represented very strongly.

    "DeChambeau is yet to contend in an Open Championship but the man that ran him close three years ago, Westwood, is a renowned links exponent and that's been a common theme at Bay Hill.

    "The 2020 winner, Tyrrell Hatton, who was second in 2022, has won two Alfred Dunhill Links Championships, the two winners before him, Francesco Molinari and McIlroy, have both won the Open Championship and the two winners before that, Marc Leishman and Jason Day, very nearly have...

    "I've always thought this was the perfect course for Tommy Fleetwood and, if he's ever to get off the mark on the PGA Tour, it could well be here. But at a bigger price his fellow Englsihman, Matt Fitzpatrick, is the value play.

    "Like McIlroy, Fitzpatrick is playing here for the 10th time, and he has course form figures reading MC-27-13-MC-2-9-10-9-14, so it took a little while for him to get to grips with the track.

    "Fitzpatrick hasn't set the world alight yet in 2024 but he broke par every day last week when finishing tied for 21st at the Cognizant Classic and I thought 40.0 was more than fair.

    "The 29-year-old won in the States last April at the RBC Heritage around Harbour Town Links and he won the Alfred Dunhill Links in impressive fashion as recently as October. Fitzpatrick was an unlucky playoff loser at the aforementioned Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in 2021 and he won't care how hard the wind blows over the weekend."

    Back Matt Fitzpatrick @ 40.0

    Bet here

    Each-way Tips: Picks from 20/1 to 66/1

    Dave Tindall: "Sixth at halfway last year before landing a top 10, Burns' play this year suggests he can get on the early leaderboard again but this time maintain his challenge.

    "The winner of five PGA Tour events since May 2021, the American is bang in form after stringing together four top 10s in his last four events - The American Express (6th), Pebble Beach (10th), Phoenix (3rd) and the Genesis (10th).

    "Third for SG: Tee To Green in Phoenix, he's been hitting his drives straight and long (4th and 1st Off The Tee in his last two starts) while his SG: Putting figures across the last four events are all positive too.

    "That's a very trustworthy set of stats to bring to a genuine test like Bay Hill where greens are hard to hit and best approached from the short grass."

    Back Sam Burns each-way @ 20/1

    Bet here

    Find Me a 100 Winner: Back 129/1 defending champ

    Steve Rawlings: "The shock 2014 winner, Matt Every, defended the title in 2015 despite being matched at 600.0 before the off, so I'm more than happy to play this year's defending champ, Kurt Kitayama, at a triple-figure price.

    "Course form stands up really well, so Kitayama defied the odds to win on debut last year, given we had to go all the way back to Robert Gamez in 1990 to find the last player to win on his Bay Hill debut.

    "Kitayama has only ordinary 2024 form reading 29-24-39-8-29 but he was sitting in fourth place at halfway in the Sony Open in January (finished 24th) and his top-10 finish in the Phoenix Open was a decent effort too. A strong defence here wouldn't be a huge surprise."

    Back Kurt Kitayama (2us) @ 130.0

    Bet here

    First-Round Leader Tips: Picks from 28/1 to 40/1

    Dave Tindall: "Corey Conners shot an opening 66 to be the first-round leader here in 2021 and is worth following again on day one.

    "The Canadian finished third that year and has followed it with 11th and 21st to show his top-class tee-to-green game matches up nicely with Bay Hill.

    "I also like the fact that he added another 6-under 66 in round two last year to show that he can go low for 18 holes here.

    "Talking of 66s, he shot another in the final round of last week's Cognizant Classic so let's take the 11.25am starter to record his third first-round lead in Florida (this event in 2021 and the 2018 Valspar)."

    Back Corey Conners each-way @ 40/1

    Bet here

    Course and current form stats

    Andy Swales: " Bay Hill is neither short of sand, nor lacking in water and is a course which tends to get tougher the closer a golfer gets to the green. Hitting fairways is generally not overcomplicated but finding putting surfaces is certainly more problematic. Large water hazards come into play on nine holes. On the 2023 PGA Tour schedule only three courses had larger putting surfaces than Bay Hill.

    "The Europeans have enjoyed plenty of positive results at Bay Hill. Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton have both triumphed here, and also finished second.

    "As for those Europeans who will be playing this week: Victor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood have all previously stood on the Bay Hill podium."

    Tommy Fleetwood @ 25/126.00

    Bet here

    Jonsson Workwear Open Tips and Predictions

    The Punter: Back Robin Williams to overcome doubts at 64/1

    Steve Rawlings: "Outsiders have prevailed here in the South African Open of late with the last three winners going off at 60.0, 180.0 and 400.0.

    "Andy Sullivan, who was matched at 130.0 when he trailed seven with a round to go in 2015, having led through rounds one and two, was a 36.0 chance so he wasn't massively fancied before the off either but it's interesting to note is that the four players to finish second here - Branden Grace, Rory McIlroy, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Schwartzel - are all straight out of the top drawer so the cream has (almost) risen to the top here.

    "And if we go a little further back, when Glendower hosted the South African Open in 1997 (the last time it hosted before 2013), Vijay Singh beat Nick Price by a stroke. Both are multiple major winners that have been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

    "Last week's SDC Championship may well be the best place to start for clues this week given form between the two tracks appears to crossover well. Glendower winner, Andy Sullivan, sat third with a round to go and the last man to win here, Robin Williams, was matched at a low of just 1.12 before getting beat in extra-time...

    "Williams was matched at just 1.12 with two holes to play at the SDC Championship before eventually losing to Jordan Gumberg at the second extra hole.

    "As a result of that, Williams is bound to be feeling a bit deflated but he's young and good enough to rebound in style. The 22-year-old won the last event to be staged here - the Fortress Invitational last year - by as many as six strokes, so we know the venue suits him and last week's second place finish didn't come out of the blue."

    Back Robin Williams @ 65.0

    Bet here

    Each-Way Tips: Green can hit the heights at 50/1

    Matt Cooper: "When golf is being played at altitude, which it is this week at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg on the high veldt, I like a player with form in thin air.

    "Malaysia's Gavin Green finished T19th on his first outing in this part of the world, in the 2017 Joburg Open at Randpark GC, and he's added to his altitude log book since then.

    "He's twice been T12th and also (last year) eighth at Crans in the European Masters, he's been seventh at Gary Player CC in the Nedbank Challenge, sixth at Steyn City 12 months ago, T12th at Eichenreid in last summer's BMW International Open and seventh again at Houghton GC in Johannesburg at the end of November.

    "And while it's nowhere near as high, the Czech Masters at Albatross required a little fiddling of the yardages - and he's been third and second there. He was also T11th at Muthaiga two weeks ago in Nairobi and backed that up with T12th last week."

    Back Gavin Green each-way @ 50/1

    Bet here

    Course and current form stats

    Andy Swales: "In 1985, the course was redesigned with all 18 greens reshaped and rebuilt. Water hazards, of numerous shapes and sizes, come into play on approximately half of its holes. The putting surfaces are gently undulating, while the rough is usually thick. Therefore, hitting these tree-lined fairways is paramount.

    "Former European Ryder Cup captain and player, Paul McGinley, was particularly complimentary about Glendower, describing it as 'one of the best I've ever played. It's very visual, really well bunkered and extremely well set up. We don't get to play on many traditional courses anymore. If it was in America it would be a potential US Open venue.'

    "Experienced South African Jacques Kruyswijk might be worth an e/w punt. The 31-year-old, who is a three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, tied-fourth when Glendower last hosted the South African Open in 2018.

    "This will be his fourth DP World Tour start of the year, with the most recent outing in Kenya yielding a tie-for-11th."

    Jacques Kruyswijk e-w @ 60/161.00

    Bet here

    Puerto Rico Open Tips and Predictions

    The Punter: Course specialist chanced at 45/1

    Steve Rawlings: "A number of events are staged at courses similar to this. Look closely at the form of the Sony Open, the RBC Heritage, the RSM Classic, the World Wide Technology Championship (especially at the old venue), and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

    "El Camaleon, which used to be the home of the World Wide Technology Championship, and the Corales Golf Club, host venue for the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, are both wind-affected Paspalum grass tracks and we've recently witnessed how nicely this event linked with El Camaleon as the 2020 winner of this event Viktor Hovland, won two of the last three editions of the World Wide Technology Championship staged at El Camaleon...

    "My only pick before the off at a double-figure price is the course specialist - Nate Lashley. The 41-year-old has finished inside the top-ten in each of his three previous visits, so he clearly loves the venue and although he's missed six of his last seven cuts, his third placed finish at the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January demonstrates just how classy he is when on song."

    Back Nate Lashley @ 46.0

    Bet here

    Course and current form stats

    Andy Swales: "Heavily influenced by coastal breezes, which sweep in from the Atlantic Ocean, Grand Reserve is a low-lying layout where water comes into play on 13 holes.

    "Fairways are reasonably generous, with areas of dense vegetation dotted around the course. Longer than the average PGA Tour layout, Grand Reserve certainly encourages players to launch into their tee shots. It is one of just a few Tour venues to have fairways and greens laid with Paspalum grass...

    "Nate Lashley's three appearances at this week's venue have all yielded top-eight finishes. He stood on the podium here last year, and also finished third at windy Torrey Pines six weeks' ago."

    Nate Lashley @ 33/134.00

    Bet here

    Now read the Punter's in-play blog for the latest from both of this week's events

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