Power rankings: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Devil Ball Golf
Mr. Palmer handed out the API trophy for the final time last year to <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/pga/players/7542/" data-ylk="slk:Jason Day">Jason Day</a>. (Getty Images)
Mr. Palmer handed out the API trophy for the final time last year to Jason Day. (Getty Images)

It will be an emotional week in Orlando at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, as this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational will mark the first time the tournament has been played since Mr. Palmer passed away in September 2016 at the age of 87.

Four of the world’s top five players will be in the field, including defending champion Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama. They’ll try to track down the title on Mr. Palmer’s Bay Hill course, with its renovated greens the centerpiece of a tournament presentation that aims to honor his life and legacy.

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Here are our top five players for this week:

1. Henrik Stenson — Stenson is practically an automatic pick at Bay Hill. Putted lights out on Thursday and Sunday at Valspar, while he cards an awesome record at Mr. Palmer’s place.

2. Rory McIlroy — McIlroy looked good, albeit a little rusty, at the WGC-Mexico. He was T-11 in 2015 at Bay Hill, but his game should travel no matter a lack of long-term record.

3. Jason Day — The defending champion has faded from view a little bit early in 2017. Last start was a T-64 at Riviera. He’s gotta snap into the season soon.

4. Justin Rose Remember when Justin Rose putted here with his eyes closed? Yeah, he’s not doing that now. Great at Riviera, loves this event.

5. Francesco Molinari Molinari is the European version of Charles Howell III this year. He’s not gonna win, but he’s going to put a stud finish. Top-20 machine.

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Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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