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BlogArnold Palmer Preview and Picks

Arnold Palmer Invitational

March 17th – 20th, 2016

Bay Hill Club

Orlando, Fla.

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $6.3 million

with $1,134,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Matt Every

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Join our Arnold Palmer blog…

The most up to date information on the Arnold Palmer Invitational, looking the players to see if any have that special edge this week  We also have our picks for Draft Kings and other items.  In the days ahead we will also have a Facebook page that will be devoted to this subject and hopefully it can create a stir in which we can all help each other.

Hope you enjoy this, each week will have it’s own blog devoted to the tournament from that week.

Also, we will be updating this blog during the tournament on Thursday through Sunday, so join us during those days.

So Join us at this Link

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 46 of the top 100 and 25 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with five players from the top-ten: #2 Rory McIlroy, #3 Jason Day, #6 Adam Scott, #7 Henrik Stenson and #8 Justin Rose. The other top 50 players are #14 Hideki Matsuyama, #17 Brandt Snedeker, #20 Zach Johnson, #22 Kevin Kisner, #26 Paul Casey, #28 Matt Kuchar, #29 Marc Leishman, #30 Byeong Hun An, #32 Andy Sullivan, #35 Danny Lee, #36 Emiliano Grillo, #39 David Lingmerth, #41 Chris Wood, #43 Soren Kjeldsen, #44 Billy Horschel, #45 Ryan Moore, #46 Kiradech Aphibarnrat and #47 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #49 Robert Streb, #50 Smylie Kaufman.

Last year 21 of the top 50 players were in the field

The field includes 14 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2016.  Those players are # 1 Adam Scott, # 2 Kevin Kisner, # 3 Brandt Snedeker, # 7 Kevin Na, # 8 Smylie Kaufman, # 9 Graeme McDowell, # 11 Hideki Matsuyama, # 12 Fabian Gomez, # 16 Emiliano Grillo, # 21 Charles Howell III, # 22 Vaughn Taylor, # 23 K.J. Choi, # 24 David Lingmerth and # 25 Ryan Moore.

The field includes 14 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are # 1 Adam Scott, # 3 Kevin Kisner, # 4 Brandt Snedeker, # 7 Kevin Na, # 8 Graeme McDowell, # 9 Smylie Kaufman, # 10 Hideki Matsuyama, # 16 Fabian Gomez, # 18 Emiliano Grillo, # 19 Vaughn Taylor, #22 Peter Malnati, # 23 Charles Howell III, # 24 K.J. Choi and # 25 David Lingmerth.

The field includes 7 past champions: Matt Every (2015 & ’14), Martin Laird (2011), Ernie Els (2010 & 1998), Vijay Singh (2007), Chad Campbell (2004), Tim Herron (1999) and Robert Gamez (1990).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Arnold Palmer Invitational field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

How would you like to have Total Golf Knowledge At Your Fingertips??

We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

It gives you everything that you need to know about golf, you have all the players results and every tournament result, again at your fingertips.  It’s very easy to use and you can take a good amout of GOLFstats with you everyplace.  No need to get home and check things out on your computer at home, you can answer any question with your Ipad.

So check it out, just hit this link to get 24/7 GOLF:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Player Valspar Thailand Classic WGC-Cadillac Honda Classic Handa Perth Northern Trust Malaysian Open AT&T Pebble Tshwane Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers CareerBuilder Challenge
Adam Scott
(396.67 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(198)
Win
(132)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(185 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(135)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP
Andy Sullivan
(140.17 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
T26
(24)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP
Ryan Moore
(136 pts)
3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(26.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(128.17 pts)
DNP DNP T35
(22.5)
WD
(-5)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Harris English
(123.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 10
(60)
DNP DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(60)
DNP T31
(6.33)
DNP
John Huh
(122.67 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T8
(16.67)
T24
(8.67)
Henrik Stenson
(112 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP T28
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP
Justin Rose
(108.83 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matt Kuchar
(105.67 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP T28
(33)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
Charles Howell III
(101.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 75
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T16
(11.33)
T11
(13)
Jonas Blixt
(98.67 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(60)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T6
(20)
T28
(7.33)
K.J. Choi
(95.33 pts)
T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP
Smylie Kaufman
(95 pts)
DNP DNP T8
(75)
T37
(13)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T25
(8.33)
T14
(12)
Billy Horschel
(94.17 pts)
DNP DNP 41
(13.5)
T8
(50)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Paul Casey
(93.5 pts)
DNP DNP 7
(82.5)
T43
(7)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Freddie Jacobson
(87.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
69
(0)
Graeme McDowell
(86.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T28
(33)
5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Scott Brown
(86 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Na
(84.5 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP T35
(22.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP T3
(30)
Chez Reavie
(81.67 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 7
(36.67)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T17
(11)
William McGirt
(77.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Thomas Pieters
(76.67 pts)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(73 pts)
DNP DNP T28
(33)
DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Vaughn Taylor
(71.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Player Valspar Thailand Classic WGC-Cadillac Honda Classic Handa Perth Northern Trust Malaysian Open AT&T Pebble Tshwane Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers CareerBuilder Challenge
Peter Malnati
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brendon Todd
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brendon De Jonge
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Russell Henley
(-33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
Tony Finau
(-26 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Darren Clarke
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
David Hearn
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Zac Blair
(-22 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Angel Cabrera
(-20.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 66
(0)
T42
(2.67)
Morgan Hoffmann
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Have to think that the rescheduling of the WGC-Dell World Match Play to the week after the Palmer will come up.  With the change it forced a lot of players to look at their schedule and make changes.  Marquee names like Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson has taken this week off.  With Tiger not playing due to his surgery, the field is not as stellar as past years.

The PGA Tour has become a fabulous success not because of all the great tournaments, but the fact that all of the tournaments have done well.  But events like last week’s Valspar, the Nelson, Colonial, Travelers and the Canadian Open have felt the pain of being close to other events that marquee names have to play in, so it will be interesting how the Palmer will be about it.  Over the years the Tour has worked with most of these events to try and place them in the position so they can do well, but just like this week for the Palmer they just have to stick it out and hope that changes happen.

Another sad note is with Arnold Palmer.  This tournament and course has been his pride and joy since he bought Bay Hill in the 60s and he has had a hands on approach to running it.  Since Palmer fell over a year ago he has slowed down a lot.  He use to play golf every day, he no longer plays and the last time he hit a shot was at the Masters last April.  He will be at Bay Hill but just not to the level of past years.  I would say he does what Byron Nelson use to do at his tournament and greet players on Sunday when they finished.  Still he is the King and we treasure every moment we have with him.

Things you need to know about the Arnold Palmer Invitational:

According to the PGA Tour, this will be the 51st Arnold Palmer Invitational, which got its start in 1966 as the Florida Citrus Open.  But if you look around there is no big splash, you can’t find anywhere in any of the material that the tournament puts out anything raving about it’s 51st anniversary.

There is a good reason for that.

If you ask Arnold Palmer, he will tell you that this is the 37th Bay Hill Invitational.  The actual event did start in 1966 as the Florida Citrus Open and it was barely surviving when Arnold Palmer and his associates took over in 1978.  They gave new life into the event by moving it to Bay Hill in 1979 and talking the elite of the PGA Tour to include Bay Hill onto their schedules.  In the 36 years since it changed to the Bay Hill Club, the tournament has elevated to a level that it’s considered one of the premier stops on tour, as voted by the players.

Course information:

Bay Hill Club & Lodge

  • Orlando, Fl.
  • 7,419 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • Course has a 73.9 rating and slope rating of 136 fron the championship tees. The course is part of a resort and is open to those that stay at the course and it’s members.
  • The average green size at Bay Hill is 6,500 square feet, which is a little over the average on the PGA Tour.  The course has 103 bunkers and water comes into play on nine of the 18 holes.
  • Last year Bay Hill was the 36th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.121 average, which is almost a shot under par.  Great weather was the reason for the low scores, you can see how hard the course has been over the years.
  • In 2014 Bay Hill was the 16th hardest course on Tour playing to a 72.473 average, a half a shot over par.  So you can see the difference between 2014 and 1015 just about a shot and a half.
  • In 2013 the Bay Hill was the 12th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.928 average playing .928 stroke over par.
  • The course was originally designed and built by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee in 1960.
  • It’s funny how Arnold Palmer got associated with it. In the early 1960s when Bay Hill was first opened, Palmer and Jack Nicklaus played an exhibition tournament at the course and the King was so attracted to Bay Hill that he got together a group of investors and leased the club with an option to buy it.  In January of 1976, the group bought the course and ever since Palmer spends most of the winter in a condo behind the course.  Palmer loves to tinker with the course. Since Palmer left the Champions tour and had more time on his hands around 2000, he has spent a lot of time making changes, probably the biggest coming in 2007 when he took the par 5, 4th and 16th holes and convert them into par 4s, thus reducing the par of the course to 70.  That didn’t last long a Palmer changed his mind again in 2010 and went back to a par 72.
  • Until about three years ago, Palmer would always tinker with something on the course, making small changes here and there, but there hasn’t been any changes in four years now.  Despite Palmer not tinkering with the course anymore there is always one thing that is consisted each year and that is the rough which is very high and helps bring scores up each year.  One thing that we can see a bit of a trend on, scores were high with the winners between 2012 and 2014 at 13 under par, but last year Matt Every was 19 under.
  • Now Bay Hill did receive a face lift for this week’s event as all the greens on the course were re-grassed with Emerald Bermuda and will make the greens roll truer and faster.  The fairways and tees were also re-grassed with Celebration bermudagrass.  One last changed will see more closely mown areas around the green which means chipping and scrambling will be harder than past years.  In the Orlando Sentinel Edgar Thompson said that Graeme McDowell played the course on New Year’s eve and raved about the new grass and course conditions.

Here is a new feature we have, a look at key stats that are important for those playing at Bay Hill Resort:

This is based on the most important stats for Bay Hill Course, based on data from last years Arnold Palmer Invitational, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2016. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four catagories.
The scoring average of the field at Bay Hill in 2015 was 71.12, so with par being 72 that means the average score was three quarter of a shot under par, making Bay Hill the 36th hardest course to score on in 2015 (only 16 courses played easier). It’s also important to see how the weather played a factor, last year’s weather was near perfect with winds blowing between 5 and 10 mph. So with good weather it’s the big reason the course played a full shot easier than it did in previous years. So with no wind and perfect weather the course was very easy, something that probably won’t happen this year since the forcast isn’t good, specially for the weekend.

In looking at the stats for Bay Hill last year Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, Proximity to Hole and Rough Proximity are important. Last we pick putting from 4 to 8 feet because last year it was 13th hardest of all courses on the PGA Tour

So how did the winner Matt Every become victorious last year? He lead in Par Breakers and birdies, which makes sense. He was 2nd in Greens in Regulation and Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. Every was 3rd in Proximity to the hole and 7th in Putting Average

In our key stats Every ranked T-2nd in greens in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 3rd in Proximity to Hole and T-34th in Rough Proximity. In putting from 4 to 8 feet he ranked T-43rd.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Stat is good barometer on overall play from drives to hitting into the greens. For years Bay Hill is always in the top-15, in 2010 it was T-4th

*Proximity to Hole: Average length that a player hits from the pin with shots from the fairway.

*Rough Proximity: Average length that a player hits from the pin with shots out of the rought

*Putting from 4 to 8 feet: No matter how good your game is, you have to make these putts in order to win. Last year Bay Hill ranked 13th hardest so it’s a hard stat for players on this course.

Players from this year’s field with stats from 2016:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

For the rest of the players, hit this link:

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Arnold Palmer Invitational:

Key stat for the winner:

A Bay Hill stat:

It’s said that ball-striking is becoming a dinosaur on the PGA Tour, but that isn’t the case at Bay Hill in which hitting lots of greens is important. Between 1997 and 2008 there wasn’t a winner that didn’t finish in the top-20 of greens hit for the week.  In 2009 Tiger Woods changed that when he finished T50th, but since then five of the last six winners were in the top-20.

Here is a look at the winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational that finished in the top-five in greens hit:

Year – Winner                Greens hit – ranked         Rank of field comparing       # of those in top-ten finished 

                                                                                to other courses that year              in top-ten in Greens hit

2015 – Matt Every               58 of 72 – 2nd                                  35th                                               3

2014 – Matt Every               52 of 72 – T7th                                 23rd                                               4

2013 – Tiger Woods           46 of 72 – T34th                               16th                                                3

2012 – Tiger Woods             57 of 72 – 1st                                  20th                                                4

2011 – Martin Laird            49 of 72 – T20th                               15th                                                 3

2010 – Ernie Els                  50 of 72 – T9th                                 9th                                                  5

2009 – Tiger Woods           39 of 72 – T50th                               1st                                                   4

2008 – Tiger Woods           50 of 72 – T14th                              17th                                                  6

2007 – Vijay Singh              52 of 72 – 2nd                                 10th                                                  6

other top winners in the top-five

2005 – Kenny Perry             57 of 72 – 1st                                 18th                                                  6

2003 – Tiger Woods             56 of 72 – 1st                                12th                                                   5

2001 – Tiger Woods             51 of 72 – T5th                               9th                                                    5

1997 – Phil Mickelson          61 of 72 – 1st                                28th                                                   5

Another key stat:

Now it’s easy to point out how the winners have been in greens hit but what has the trend been for everyone in the field?  The trend is that more folks are hitting more greens.  In 2009 Bay Hill had the hardest greens to hit.  In a way wind helped, the weekend saw high winds with gust up to 30 mph, but only 55.02 of the greens were hit that year.  The next year it jumped to 61.25% and was ranked 9th and the number has stayed about the same with it’s ranking going up, in 2011 it ranked 15th on the PGA Tour.  In 2012 it climbed to 20th and then 16th in 2013.  In 2014 it ranked 23rd and more players hit more greens with the average going up again to 64.00%.  With the lack of wind and great weather 2015 was a banner year for the players as they hit 68.41% making it the 35th highest on the PGA Tour.  Now with really poor weather predicated for the week, I see this stat going down and the greens harder to hit in 2016.

The one key stat that shows what it takes to win:

“Proximity to hole” is a stat that measures how close to the hole you hit it from the fairway.  The last five years before last year Bay Hill has ranked in the top-ten on the PGA Tour.  In 2015 it was ranked T-11th.  Since this is a shot-link stat that isn’t measured in the majors, you only find this in non-major courses.  The better the ranking means that it’s harder to get the ball close to the hole.  Last year players from the fairway got the ball to 37 feet, 1 inch ranking T-11th while in 2014 it was 37 feet, 8 inches of the hole, ranking 8th.  The year before it ranked 3rd as players averaged 38’8″.  So this means that getting the ball close is hard at Bay Hill.

Making Bay Hill even tougher is when players hit drives in the rough.  In looking at the stat “Rough Proximity”, over the last six years it ranked T-6th last year,  3rd in 2014, 1st in 2013, 6th in 2012, 3rd in 2011 and 2nd in 2010.  So what does this mean?  That the rough is really hard to deal with and that there is a penalty for hitting drives into the rough because it’s hard to get your ball close to the hole.  So in looking for a player that does well at Bay Hill you want to find one that not only hits lot’s of greens and close to the hole, but also players that can handle rough by getting the ball closer to the holes than others.  So here are the results of two key stats from 2016, first “Proximity to Hole”  and then “Rough Proximity.”

Here are some more key items to look to for this week:

Only three weeks before the Masters, for many this is there last go before the Masters.  Right now the Masters field is just about set, for those not in the field they will have to either win at Bay Hill, Dell Match Play or Houston.  The other way is to be in the top-50 of the world rankings after the Dell Match play.  For six players it’s going to be a wild scramble to make sure they are in the top-50 so that they get one of the last Masters invites.  Here are those on the bubble, #51 – Jaco Van Zyl, 55 – Rafael Cabrera Bello, 56 – Thomas Pieters, 61 – Matt Jones, 64 – Marcus Fraser and #65 – Patton Kizzire. Those not in the Palmer field are Van Zyl, Cabrera Bello and Fraser.

Kenny Perry had a perfect combination of being ranked fourth in both driving distance and accuracy in 2005.  Look for accuracy to once again prevail and look for another player like Perry that combines straight driving with a bit of length.  So how do we determine a player like this?  Look at the total driving stat which combines but distance rank and accuracy rank to help determine your winner.

Unimportant stat:

  • In eight of the last 16 years Tiger Woods has been the winner. So what does that mean?  In many tournaments, experience seems to be important, but not at Bay Hill.   Since 1979, 12 of the winners either became first-time winners or had only won once before, just like Matt Every winning for the first time at Bay Hill in 2014 (then winning for a second time in 2015), Martin Laird in 2011, Rod Pampling in 2006 and Chad Campbell in 2004.  But on the other side of the coin, the tournament has had some great players winning like Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw, Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Paul Azinger, Payne Stewart, Fuzzy Zoeller and  Tiger Woods.
  • Birdies and patience are important at Bay Hill. On most courses the norm is making lots of birdies to keep pace, but at Bay Hill pars are just as important.
  • One thing for certain is that the odds are quite good that the winner will be from either Florida and the Orlando area.  Of the 120 in the field this week, 32 live in Florida with 10 having ties in the Orlando area.
  • Weather has been pretty good the last couple of days in Florida but the forecast is not very good for this week.  It’s going to be mostly cloudy on Thursday and Frida with winds between 10 to 15 MPH.  But the weekend will be very stormy, they are calling for 50% thunderstorms on Saturday and 80% on Sunday.  Of course forecasts, even at 80% could be wrong, look at the forecast they got at the Valspar for Sunday.  It was suppose to rain most of the day, but the rain didn’t show up until Sunday evening.  Still the weather has been short of miraculous during this whole Florida swing, so rain wouldn’t surprise me.

 

 

 

Who to watch for at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Best Bets:

Henrik Stenson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
2 T5 T8 T15 T47 T52 T22

Tee to Green he is the best, but if he can get the putter rolling he won’t be stopped. Just look at his record in this event over his last four starts, pretty impressive.

Rory McIlroy

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T11

Got better at the Cadillac and think he will be even better this week.

Adam Scott

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T35 3 CUT CUT T30 T3

Looking for the Florida “hat-trick”, he can win for a third time. Has had some good experiences on this course back in 2014.

Best of the rest:

Ryan Moore

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T60 CUT T4 T12 T40 CUT

His game seems to be getting better, been in the top-11 in five of his last seven starts and finished 3rd at Valspar.

Matt Kuchar

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
First start since finishing T-51st in 2003.  Was T-28th in 2020, T-60th in 1999 and missed cut in 1998

Has been flying under the radar scoop the last year, but showing signs that he is ready to do well this week.

Kevin Na (Has withdrawn)

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T6 T14 T4 T30 T2 T11 CUT CUT

Coming out of a little mini-slump, plays well on this course and has found himself in contention numerous times.

Kevin Streelman

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T67 T21 T47 T7 T66

Has all of the key stats for the year to do well on this course.

Solid contenders

Jason Day

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T17 T45 T25 WD CUT

Has never done well on this course, has not done well this year. So it may seem strange to pick him this week but it’s getting close to the Masters and he should be stepping it up a beat or two.

Brandt Snedeker

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T13 T8 CUT T63 CUT T30 T17 T14 T22

Know that he has been banged up with rib problems, but he has had some time off and playing a course he does well on.

Hideki Matsuyama

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T21

It could be time for him to shock us again this week.

Justin Rose

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT 2 T15 T3 CUT T30 T8 68 T24

Another of those that hasn’t played very well this year and is due. Good course to do it on, has come close to winning on several occasions.

Vaughn Taylor

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T21 T54 CUT T17 T31 3 CUT T58

Watch him, is first in proximity to hole and Rough Proximity along with being 13th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green this year.

Long shots that could come through:

Scott Brown

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT 13

Had a consistent week at Valspar and finished T-7th and it’s his second straight top-10 (was T10th at Honda). At Valspar he led the field in strokes gained putting (6.495 total for the four rounds) so he could be a very good sleeper pick.

Retief Goosen

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT T31 T27 T4 T36 T14 T18 T48 4 CUT

Could be a person to watch at the Palmer. Other than a 6th in an opposite-field event, the 2015 Barracuda, his T-11th at the Valspar is his best finish since a T-8th at the 2015 Northern Trust more than a year ago. Goosen has two 4th place finishes in the Palmer.

Vijay Singh

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T57 T20 T57 T24 CUT T59 T3 Win 7 T2 T31

Watch him, played well on this Florida swing and he has done well at Bay Hill

Just don’t see lightning striking three times:

Matt Every

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
Win Win T34 T24 CUT T52

Looking for his third straight title, gosh was surprised to see him win last year. His game is lost, he has deemed himself as being totally “uncoachable” in dropping Sean Foley. I see him struggling just to make the cut so winning is out of the question.

Comments

  1. Kevin Na withdrew from the tourney yesterday in case anyone was looking to pick him.

  2. James, thanks got it from the Tour this morning. Patton Kizzire also withdrew, problably because he is playing in the Match Play getting in at 65 in the world rankings.

  3. Sal – which courses do you think match up well to Bay Hill. On the Florida Swing I would imagine Doral is close, maybe even Sawgrass? I hesitate to compare to Riveria where I’ve seen a number of others compare to given the grass differences. Thoughts?

  4. Tim, that is a damn good question and one that takes some thought. I would say no to Sawgrass because that course has much different problems, one thing players don’t have to contend with is high rough like they do at Bay Hill. I can buy into Doral, but I think the courses that come close in my mind is TPC Louisiana which holds the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and TPC Southwind (this is the best example) which holds the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June.

  5. Andrzej S says:

    My dark horse: Keegan Bradley – Bet on TOP 20 Finish @ 4.0 (Cuts 3/9 – but on that course he played very well).

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