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

Golfer Kurt Kitayama
Kurt Kitayama after last year's victory

This week the PGA Tour features both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Puerto Rico Open while the DP World Tour remains in South Africa for the Jonsson Workwear Open. Steve Rawlings has a selection for each event...

  • Read my Arnold Palmer Invitational preview here

  • Read my Puerto Rico Open preview here

  • Read my Jonsson Workwear Open preview here

  • It's been some year for outsiders on the PGA Tour with eight of the first nine winners all going off at a triple-figure price. So I've picked out a selection in each of this week's two PGA Tour events - the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Puerto Rico Open - and I've also plumped for one in this week's DP World Tour event - the Jonsson Workwear Open.

    Kurt Kitayama @ 130.0129/1

    Former winners and defending champions have a great record in this week's Signature event - the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Jerry Heard was the first man to win it twice. He won the tournament for a second time in 1972, two years after his first success.

    Gary Koch won the event twice, in 1977 and 1984, and Tom Kite was successful twice in the 1980s before Loren Roberts became the first to successfully defend the title in the 1990s.

    Ernie Els won it once in each century and Tiger Woods won the tournament four times in-a-row between 2000 and 2003, before twice winning it back-to-back in 2008 and '09 and 2012 and '13. He's not the only man to defend the title this century.

    The shock 2014 winner, Matt Every, defended the title in 2015 despite being matched at 600.0599/1 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) @ 130.0129/1

    Bet now

    Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1

    Patton Kizzire @ 100.099/1

    Current form is irrelevant at the Puerto Rico Open.

    Last year's winner, Nico Echavarria, won having missed his previous four cuts and that was fairly typical.

    He'd finished 12th at the Sony Open in January prior to that poor run and that event correlates nicely with this week's host course. As does, El Camaleon, which used to be the home of the World Wide Technology Championship, so Patton Kizzire was always going to be on my shortlist.

    Kizzire's two PGA Tour victories to date were at El Camaleon and Waialae, home of the Sony, so it's going to be interesting to see how he fares on debut and I'm happy to take a chance at 100.099/1.

    The 38-year-old has eerily similar current form to last year's champ, who was also playing here for the first time.

    Patton Kizzire at the Byron Nelson.jpg

    Like Echavarria, Kizzire has missed his last four cuts but just like the Colombian, Kizzire had played nicely in Hawaii, finishing 13th in the Sony.

    Back Patton Kizzire (2us) @ 100.099/1

    Bet now

    Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1

    Daniel Van Tonder @ 110.0109/1

    The once prolific South African Daniel Van Tonder has caught the eye recently after a slump.

    Between August last year and the middle of February, the 32-year-old withdrew once and missed seven of 14 cuts. He finished inside the top-30 places just once - when finishing 12th in the Fortress Invitational at this week's venue, Glendower.

    A high finish there wasn't a surprise given he won at Glendower back in 2020 (one of four victories that year) and I fancy him to go well there again this week having played nicely over the last three weeks, putting together a run of figures reading 10-27-20.

    Van Tonder has found something on the greens recently so he may just contend around a track that clearly suits his eye.

    Back Daniel Van Tonder (2us) @ 110.0109/1

    Bet now

    Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1

    Now read Dave Tindall's each-way column here

    *You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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Returned: 16 Us

P/L: -27 Us

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