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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Arnold Palmer Invitational - Preview

All eyes will be on Tiger Woods at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard as he looks to win this event for the eighth time. Already with two wins on his 2013 ledger, Woods is a massive favorite to bring home his third title of the season at Bay Hill.

Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a 7,419 yard par 72 featuring the expected four par 5s, four par 3s and 10 par 4s. Elements of Bay Hill will remind many of Doral, where Woods won two weeks ago. Water is a factor on many holes including several par 5s and the par-4 18th, just like Doral's Blue Monster.

Looking at how Woods got it done in 2012, one thing jumps off the page. It's important to hit GIR. There were three men tied for the tournament lead with 79.2 percent GIR. Woods, Graeme McDowell (runner-up) and Ryan Moore (T4). The tie breaker for Woods was his putter, finishing fourth in strokes gained-putting.

The elephant in the room this week is Tiger Woods. He will lead off tomorrow's power rankings, he will be in every gaming format and I will likely burn my one-and-done on him this week. This week's big question is who else to play.

As always, we will take a hard look at course history and current form. When we dive into stats, we will look closely at guys hitting plenty of GIR and scoring well on the par 5s. An additional factor will consider guys with a propensity for playing well in Florida, as this is a course very typical to the rest of the Florid Swing.

Best of luck with your research!

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