PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Preview

He can't win can he? Image Getty

He can't win can he? Image Getty

"If you would have asked me at the Presidents Cup a year ago [whether I would play on Tour again], I didn't know".

Jason Day says he's licking his lips at the chance to topple comeback king Tiger Woods at the US PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. "I've gone back to a lot of the stuff I used to do with my dad and how he first taught me how to play golf".

"Just a couple of things with my set-up and I was just trying to get my posture organised a little bit more ... little things (that) just make for better passes through the golf ball".

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"I've got to do some serious homework though and really get to know and get the feel of how this golf course is playing this particular year, considering I haven't played here in five years!" McIlroy will play alongside Marc Leishman and Rickie Fowler.

Whether it's due to the resurgence of Woods and Phil Mickelson, or the continued brilliance of the likes of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm, or the fact that he's only teed it up twice this year, Jason Day has flown very much under the radar - despite looking as though he's back to his best after a hard 2017. For the second consecutive year, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas will skip this week, while Hideki Matsuyama returns for his first tournament back since he suffered a wrist injury.

As Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, and Irishmen Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, struggle to find consistency, Woods is the bookies' favourite for an event he has already won eight times. An eight-time victor here, and is now ranked 5th for scoring average, 8th for putts per round and 11th for total Strokes Gained. To put that in perspective, the final round of the Valspar was watched by more people than the final rounds of the 2017 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

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Lowry failed to get the 15th-place finish he needed in Tampa to move into top 64 in the world who are likely to start with the likes of Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Henrik Stenson just three of the top players who have confirmed they are skipping next week's trip to Austin.

Finishing one shot back last week in Tampa, Woods said he could tell he's getting sharper in competition, able to hit shots he sees in his mind. Can he deliver again this week after moving back in to the top-150 in the world ranking for the first time since 2015? Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 5.51 (-1) 12. Was T14 at the WGC Mexico (his last start), and is ranked 2nd in SG Tee-to-Green and 4th for scoring average.

Chez Reavie went to No. 43 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in Phoenix and Pebble Beach, but he is now at No. 47.

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