Find Me a 100 Winner: Can Branden go back-to-back at Bay Hill?

Golfer Branden Grace
Branden Grace in Puerto Rico last week

We're off to Bay Hill Country Club for this year's second event on the Florida Swing and Steve Rawlings is back in search of a monster-priced winner...

"Grace finished ninth in the Texas Open a week after winning The Heritage in 2016 and he won back-to-back events twice on the Sunshine and European Tours back in 2012."

It's four years since we witnessed a triple-figure priced winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational (Marc Leishman at 160.0159/1) but the last two winners went of at 70.069/1 and it's been a reasonable event for outsiders, provided the eight-time winner, Tiger Woods, has been absent. Here's my four this week...

Refreshed Kisner can contend again

As highlighted in the preview, course form stands up really well at Bay Hill and my first selection, Kevin Kisner, has already come close to taking the title at Arnold's Place.

Back in 2017, the three-time PGA Tour winner was matched at a low of 1.341/3 during the final round before Leishman rallied to beat him by a stroke and that was the third time he'd finished second in Florida. He finished runner-up to Jason Gore in the Miccosukee Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour and one of his five playoff defeats was at the Players Championship in 2015 when Rickie Fowler took the title.

Kisner missed the cut 12 months after finishing second and he was never at the races last year either but in-between those two poor efforts he finished 23rd in 2019, having sat third and just three off the lead at halfway and third and just two back with a round to go.

After taking some time off following the birth of his third child, Kisner contended for two rounds at the WGC Workday Championship last week before fading over the weekend but that was an encouraging reintroduction and it's only three months and four starts since he lost the fifth of those five playoffs at the RSM Classic at the end of November.

Back Kevin Kisner 2 u @ 120.0119/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Back Branden to go back-to-back once more

Branden Grace's victory in Puerto Rico on Sunday was no fluke if the stats are anything to go by and he looks well worth chancing here at a huge price.

Grace's course form figures, reading MC-62-MC, don't inspire much confidence but there's no reason why the venue shouldn't suit his game and it's his propensity to hold his form that's swayed me.

Grace finished ninth in the Texas Open a week after winning The Heritage in 2016 and he won back-to-back events twice on the Sunshine and European Tours back in 2012.

Back Branden Grace 1 ½ u @ 200.0199/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Mitchell a must with two top-sixes in the bag

Matt Every won this event back-to-back at huge odds in 2014 and 2015 (his only two PGA Tour wins) and he led after the opening round last year before missing the cut!

That demonstrates in no uncertain fashion that current form can go out of the window if a player likes the course here and 29-year-old Keith Mitchell, who's already won in Florida, at the Honda Classic in 2019, appears to love it.

Keith Mitchell.jpg

In two previous visits, Mitchell has finished fifth and sixth and although he's missed his last three cuts, he finished 14th in his first start of the year, at the Sony Open, so a decent week is not out of the question.

Back Keith Mitchell 1u @ 280.0279/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 12.011/1 & 10u @ 2.26/5

Aaron a Wise play at a big price

I was going to stick to just three picks this week but having listened to the Lost Fore Words podcast, I felt compelled to add Aaron Wise to the portfolio.

Tom suggested there could be a correlation between Bay Hill and the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Texas and it looks like he could be on to something.

The exposed layout has only hosted the Byron Nelson a couple of times but a number of players have form at the two venues already. Every finished second there last year and Leishman finished runner-up to Wise there 12 months earlier, with, coincidentally, Branden Grace and Keith Mitchell tied for third.

Wise has only played here twice before, finishing 41st and 40th but he sat second after round one on his debut appearance in 2018 and although he hasn't played well in his first two outings this year, missing the cut at the American Express and finishing 66th in Phoenix, he finished runner-up to the brilliant Viktor Hovland in Mexico just three starts ago.

Back Aaron Wise 1u @ 280.0279/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 12.011/1 & 10u @ 2.26/5

I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


Staked: 41 units
Returned: 12.5 units
P/L: -28.5 units

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