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Rob Lee loves seeing McIlroy, Mickelson and Watson strut their stuff

Rob Lee - Rob Lee Posted 18th March 2014 view comments

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational taking place from Thursday, it feels fitting to discuss players I enjoy watching.

Arnold - as I explained last year and Paul McGinley said this week - was one of the most charismatic golfers around, but there are still some really entertaining players today.

Wat a character: Bubba is a unique individual, says Rob

Wat a character: Bubba is a unique individual, says Rob

I love to watch Rory McIlroy out on the course because he has an x-factor and can hit shots others can't, like his second into the last at the recent Honda Classic.

Phil Mickelson is up there, too, because he can play ridiculous shots and you know that if you watch for long enough he is going to slash it in the trees, which is always a bit of fun!

Bubba is a ginormous accident on the course, so just about anything can happen!

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week


Arnold Palmer Invitational
7pm, Thu, Sky Sports 4
Investec Cup
10.30am, Sat, Sky Sports 4

If there is a gap for the ball to fit through, no matter whether it is the size of a matchbox, he will take it on, and while that means things can go wrong, when he strings it all together he can win Major championships.

Bubba Watson is also unique - he plays like he can't help himself and is a ginormous accident on the course, so just about anything can happen when he's out there!

There are probably not enough players like that these days, which, from a spectator's point of view, is disappointing, but you do have to balance out charisma and aggression with calmness if you want to win things.

Mickelson, one of the wildest players around, showed that when he tempered his game on British links courses to earn back-to-back victories at the Scottish Open and Open Championship in 2013.

And if he'd done it sooner, I'm sure he would have more than five Majors to his name.


Tiger Woods is good to watch but he has issues at the moment.

The back injury which caused him to pull out of the Honda Classic and to struggle at Doral has prevented him from competing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he has won eight times, including last year.

Maybe we are seeing all those years of Tiger pounding away in the gym affecting him negatively, but whatever the reason for his back trouble, he is now a doubt for the Masters, which takes place next month.

Woods plays with big gaps in his schedule anyway and he quite often comes to a Major having had two or three weeks off, so if his game is in shape, I have no doubts that he can get ready in seven days - but his game is not in shape and he is very short of form.

Tiger, for me, will never get back to his golden period and I'm pretty sure we will never see him holding all four Majors at once again, but golf will be all the better if he rediscovers his touch and competes for the big prizes.

Elsewhere, the European Tour Final Series has undergone a tweak, with players now not obliged to play in two of the three lead-up events to the DP World Tour Championship to figure at Jumeirah Golf Estates and be eligible for the riches that accompany it.

I'm not sure about the change because I don't see that having to turn out two times in three weeks is that arduous, and if you are in the shake-up to be the top player in Europe, I think you would want to play in them all anyway.

I also have sympathy for the sponsors who, having put up substantial money, want the best field possible and not to see their tournament being the one without X, Y and Z in it.

The fans may feel short changed, too, if their favourite big-name players aren't in attendance, but let's hope the new system works well.


Justin Rose played well for a lot of the Valspar Championship and he finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year, so I think he has a chance of going one better this time now that his fitness is returning. He's 12/1 with Sky Bet.

George Coetzee is my man in the Investec Cup at odds of 11/2, meanwhile, as he has a first European Tour win under his belt and would love to be top dog in his home country this week.

Check out the latest golf betting from around the world at Sky Bet now.

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