Arnold Palmer Invitational 2013: Biggest Threats to Tiger Woods' Bay Hill Title

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2013

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 23:  The feet of Tiger Woods of the United States talking to the media after the third round of the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill Golf and Country Club on March 23, 2013 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Tiger Woods winning the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. But, despite the odds being in his favor, he hasn’t won anything just yet.

He’s taking a two-stroke lead into Sunday’s fourth and final round. According to ESPN’s Justin Ray, Woods has a remarkable record when leading after 54 holes (via Twitter):

His ability to close clearly isn’t something to be questioned.

Woods did win this event last year, and he could be finally back to top form after an injury and personal matters affected his play for some time. He has two 2013 victories already, making a win at Bay Hill his third prior to competing at The Masters at Augusta.

The last time that happened for Woods was in 2008.

Let’s take a look at who, if anyone, might be able to contend with the golf legend during the final day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.


Rickie Fowler

Fowler will be paired with Woods for the final round of action at Bay Hill. To this point, Woods has been inconsistent if not spectacular. That means Fowler, who is currently in a three-way tie for second place at nine under par, will need to continue his streak of 67s to have a chance at the title.

His opening-round 73 set him back a bit, but he answered with back-to-back 67s on Friday and Saturday to climb within contention.


Justin Rose

England’s Justin Rose is coming off of a big 2012. He nearly won the PGA Championship and also contributed a remarkable performance to help Team Europe stage an epic comeback victory over the United States at the Ryder Cup.

Now, he has found himself just two strokes back of Woods heading into Sunday. If not for his poor 72 on Saturday, he would likely be tied or in the lead heading into the final day.

Rose flashed his potential at the course with an opening round 65, the lowest round of any of the remaining contenders.


Tiger Woods

Woods might be his own biggest threat in this one. There are projected to be 25-to-30 MPH winds at Bay Hill on Sunday afternoon, making for an interesting finish to the action.

He has recovered from nearly every poor shot he has hit to this point. But if he can’t be as aggressive due to the winds, he could lose a few strokes after making an untimely error or two down the stretch.

Woods will need to play safe but consistent in order to fend of the field and continue his excellent final-day dominance.