The PGA Tour continues its Florida swing at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. The course is demanding and players will need to be at their best to have a chance on Sunday.
Players typically have a tougher time hitting greens at Bay Hill as the course ranks 12th toughest on tour for Greens in Regulation and ranks 2nd toughest on tour in par 3 scorings.
The greens are typically firm and fast. Players will need to be able to sink putts but also maintain strong composure around the green. Bay Hill ranks 10th toughest on tour in shots gained around the green from the rough.
Much like last week at PGA National, players will be dealing with plenty of doglegs on this course. Players will typically be faced with 150-200 as their approach shots into the greens. There is danger all over the course with 84 bunkers.
Ball striking will be at a premium, Bay Hill ranks as the 12th shortest driving distance course on tour. Players will not need to hit the driver off the tee in most circumstances. Most holes at Bay Hill call for a 3 wood off the tee.
Weather should be beautiful for the players and patrons this weekend, with sunny conditions and a high of 90 degrees expected. Players are due to feel the effects of the Florida climate if they are not used to playing in such conditions.
With so many bogeys and double bogeys to be had, laying the juice on players like John Rahm (+650) and Rory McIlroy (+900) is not the way I would recommend betting this week. The course is simply too unpredictable to be able to bet players at such a short price and feel like they have a better chance than the rest of the exceedingly talented field this week.
Matt Fitzpatrick is +3500 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. Fitzpatrick ranks 18th in scrambling from the rough, 13th in ball striking, 10th in bogey avoidance, and 75th overall on tour from within 175 overall in greens in regulation.
Fitzpatrick tends to play well at courses like Bay Hill with high danger – and he even finished T-9 at the event last year. At +3500 Fitzpatrick is a more than reasonable bet to be in the final few groups come Sunday.
Cameron Young is +4000 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. Young finished T-13th last year at Bay Hill and T-29th last week at the Honda Classic. Last week Young showcased real capabilities of attacking high-danger pin locations.
The setup at Bay Hill will play similarly to PGA National, and if a few more putts fall and Young can find some luck this week with his aggressive nature, he should be in the hunt on Sunday.
Young ranks 6th overall on the PGA Tour with 4.96 birdies per round. There is no doubt Young is a hit-or-miss candidate on a course like Bay Hill, but a player can’t win the tournament playing it safe this week. We aren’t looking for top 25’s, and neither is Young. I like that.