Arnold Palmer Invitational 2024 Each-way Tips: Picks from 20/1 to 66/1

American golfer Sam Burns
Sam Burns can add another win

The PGA Tour's Florida Swing continues this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets for the action at Bay Hill...

  • 20/121.00 Sam Burns is in superb form in early 2024

  • 40/141.00 Jason Day is a former winner at Bay Hill

  • 66/167.00 Jake Knapp is lighting up the PGA Tour

  • A frustrating experience last week as 150/1151.00 pick Andrew Novak finished one shot out of the places after failing to birdie the par-5 closing hole.

    But with Austin Eckroat holding his nerve down the stretch, the Cognizant Classic became the latest tournament in the 2024 PGA Tour schedule to witness a winner priced at three figures.

    What is going on here? Theories abound but there's certainly a growing feeling that courses are becoming too easy and not allowing any real separation between those at the very top of the game and those in the pack below.

    So will that change this week at Bay Hill, a course (7,466 yard par 72) now regarded as one of the real ball-striking tests on the PGA Tour?

    Having said that, 2023 winner Kurt Kitayama and runner-up Harris English ranked 1st and 2nd for SG: Putting last year and only 14th and 31st Tee To Green.

    Those two were also tied 1st for Driving Accuracy although that could be a red herring as distance has often been important with both Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau ranking 1st for DD when winning.

    Good 'ol greens in regulation is certainly a good pointer and Tiger Woods' eight wins here plus the back-to-back victories for somewhat lesser lights Loren Roberts and Matt Every highlight the importance of course form.

    Further to that, McIlroy finished runner-up 12 months ago while Tyrrell Hatton backed up his 2020 win with a second place in 2022.

    One big difference this year is field size. As this is a Signature Event (the fourth this season), just 69 players go to post. It's very much quality not quantity in the bid to honour the great Arnold Palmer and win one of the Tour's prestigious events which now carries a $20m prize fund.

    Back Sam Burns @ 20/121.00

    Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 winner, and Rory both deserve close attention at 13/27.50 and 9/110.00 respectively but the one I like near the top of the betting is Sam Burns at 20/121.00.

    Twice a winner in Florida at the Valspar Championship (2021 and 2022), he's at his best on Bermuda surfaces and some wind in the forecast on the weekend could also help him hang tough when others fall away.

    Burns hasn't hit the ground running in this event like he has the Valspar but a ninth two years ago built on some promising starts in previous visits.

    The man from Louisiana was in the top 15 after each of the first three rounds on his 2018 debut before sliding while he was fifth after 18, seventh after 36 and ninth after 54 in 2020 but couldn't push on.

    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.

    Burns stands out as the headline pick.

    Back Sam Burns each-way @ 20/121.00

    Bet here

    Back Jason Day @ 40/141.00

    Jason Day has his name on the trophy here after scoring a one-shot victory in 2016.

    Compatriot Marc Leishman (also runner-up in 2020) followed him in a year later and it's no surprise that Aussies have a good record in an event where the wind can blow.

    Day surrounded his 2016 win with top 25s in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and last year he dug in to take 10th place after sitting 41st at halfway.

    Speaking in 2021, the 2015 US PGA winner said: "It's always nice to be able to come to Florida to play, especially at Arnie's place.

    "This is a very special place to me. I used to live here when I first came over here to America, I mean like only five minutes down the road, so to be able to be here..."

    Day was also 11th after 54 holes in 2021 before a Sunday slump and despite his health issues and dips in form it's worth noting that he's finished 31st or better in six of the last seven editions of the API, the one exception a WD in 2020.

    As well as a strong course record, the 13-time PGA Tour winner (2023 Byron Nelson the most recent) has plenty of current form to help advertise his chances.

    Day kicked off his 2024 campaign with a top 10 at The Sentry in Hawaii while two February starts brought a sixth at Pebble Beach and ninth at Riviera.

    He ranked in the top 10 for SG: Tee To Green in those latter two events and was also in the top 15 for Approach in both.

    If he can keep it in play enough, Day will have a shot at glory. Speaking at Riviera, he noted: "I feel good about my game in regards to where my head's at. I just have to get the process a little bit better."

    In other words, he feels there's room to grow into despite already racking up three top 10s in five starts.

    Give Day a whirl at 40/141.00.

    Back Jason Day each-way @ 40/141.00

    Bet here

    Back Jake Knapp @ 66/167.00

    I'm tempted by Adam Scott at 50s given his recent good play and two previous third places at Bay Hill, even though they were way back in 2004 and 2014 (perhaps it's a 10-year cycle thing).

    Scott has made the top 20 in each of his last seven worldwide starts and knows he's running out of chances to win Arnie's tournament.

    But, based on the evidence of 2024, I'm leaning more on current form this week and that brings Jake Knapp into the crosshairs.

    The 29-year-old is absolutely lighting up the PGA Tour this season and at 66/167.00 here, he could be way ahead of the handicapper.

    Knapp flashed his talent on the Korn Ferry Tour last year and again when third at Torrey Pines in January.

    After a 28th in Phoenix, he's since emerged a potential superstar by winning the Mexico Open and following that up with fourth place on his Cognizant Classic debut last week.

    Just how good is he? Finishing 1st (Mexico) and 4th (Cognizant) on the All-Around in the last two events shows this isn't being done by smoke and mirrors.

    Everything looks good and his confidence is simply through the roof

    He's finished fifth (2023 Suncoast Classic) and fourth (Cognizant) on his latest two Florida starts which again bodes well and even though this is his first Bay Hill appearance, he'll welcome the challenge.

    "I feel like I can play well on any style of golf course, and like most guys out here, when your game is on, it's on," he said last week.

    "I feel like I'm playing well. It just feels good to come out here and validate that."

    Playing three straight rounds with McIlroy at the Cognizant and ultimately beating him is all gravy and I like the way he has his head on too.

    When asked about maintaining energy, Knapp said last week: "For sure, it's definitely at the top of my mind. I was going to do another pro-am on Monday off-site this next week and decided not to. It's been a lot of golf."

    Knapp, who closed with a 66 at the Cognizant, is having a blast and I'm happy to ride the train while he's hot.

    Back Jake Knapp each-way @ 66/167.00

    Bet here

    Now read Steve Rawlings' preview of Bay Hill

Dave's P/L for 2024

Staked: £240
Returned: £84
P/L: -£156

2022/2023 P/L: -£191.44
2021/2022 P/L: -£315.35
2020/2021 P/L: +£1475.87
2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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