Henrik Stenson should be formidable frontrunner
Star names lurking just off the pace
Sky Sports Golf, 4.30pm Saturday
Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, 30-1 and 150-1 respectively ante-post, are tied at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard at the halfway stage.
Stenson, who lives locally, followed up his Thursday 64 with a 69 to reach 11 under par at Bay Hill, while rounds of 67 and 66 launched DeChambeau alongside the Swede.
Stenson has won six times on the US Tour, most recently in August last year at the Wyndham Championship. His first Stateside strokeplay success came in Florida – the 2009 Players Championship – and the 41-year-old enjoys performing in his adopted home state.
DeChambeau claimed his maiden title in the John Deere Classic last year. The 24-year-old Californian has posted only two top-ten finishes since.
Stenson is a best-price 7-4 for victory and will probably be difficult to shift from the front. DeChambeau is a 7-1 chance. Neither price is particularly attractive.
Outright punters looking for players who could get in the thick of things from slightly off the pace should consider Byeong Hun An, a Florida-based Korean who has opened with a pair of solid 68s, Rickie Fowler, who is always capable of a super-low round and lies only five shots behind, and Rory McIlroy, who was ten-under-par over the weekend at Bay Hill last year.
An (16-1), Fowler (12-1) and McIlroy (16-1) are sporting wagers, while Tiger Woods fans will not have given up hope that he can fight back from seven shots adrift. The final four full swings of Tiger's second round were top-class – he flushed his approach to the 16th and 17th, then played the 18th in textbook fashion – so the great man may have got his game back in order just in time to mount a weekend charge. Woods can be backed at 20-1.
Third-round twoball punters should consider a double on the favourites in the final two matches. An, former US Amateur champion and BMW PGA Championship winner, can outclass Talor Gooch in the 5.45pm (UK and Ireland time) twoball, while Stenson should be much more comfortable than DeChambeau at 5.55pm. Stenson was Bay Hill runner-up in 2015 and third in 2016.
B An (8-13) & H Stenson (7-10)
2pts double bet365
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