After blowing a five-shot lead, many Golf fans will be wondering how Daniel Berger picks himself up for this week. But not us! We’re already focusing on our Arnold Palmer picks for this week as the PGA Tour descends upon the legendary Bay Hill course.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the second leg of the Florida Swing and is played at Bay Hill Country Club & Lodge in Orlando which has been the tournament host since 1979. It’s a par 72 track, 7,466 yards in length, that puts a premium on accuracy over distance. It is a thorough test of golf and the second-highest scoring par 72 course in non-majors over the last nine years. The average winning score over the last five years is 11 under and three winners have prevailed by one stroke.
The relatively small field of 120 golfers will face Bermuda greens that are above average in size, sloping and fast. Players will need to produce drives that carry some distance but put the ball in the fairways. The rough is relatively long and fresh winds that are expected over the weekend will increase the degree of difficulty. So, with the course set-up and terrain in mind here are three of the skills that are required for good scoring:
Stokes Gained Tee to Green
Greens In Regulation
Par 5 Scoring
Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks
Matt Fitzpatrick (+2500)
Fitzpatrick combines current form, course form, and a skills record that indicates he is suited to this week’s challenge. In fact, he has the ideal profile for Bay Hill and could well win his first PGA Tour event. Fitzpatrick is a top-five player for strokes gained tee to green and par 5 scoring and finding the greens in the correct number of shots in the conditions is not beyond him.
The English player has made the cut with something in hand at Bay Hill over the last three seasons. His most recent form is solid but has not played for three due to illness. Fitzpatrick made the cut in his last two starts, at Pebble Beach and in the Phoenix Open. He ticks all the boxes for a tournament in which British players have done well over the last decade.
Best Value Top 10 Pick
Will Zalatoris (+2800)
Zalatoris could well have been the outright pick this week but Fitzpatrick’s claims were too good to ignore. However, he should make the top 10 at least and we fully expect Zalatoris to figure on the leaderboard over the weekend and deep into the final round on Sunday.
He is at number one in the standings for strokes gained hitting into the greens and tee to green. In fact, statistically, he has the best set of skills but falls short on course experience which is important at Bay Hill. However, he did finish in the top 10 on his only visit last season.
Potential Sleeper Pick
Max Homa (+4500)
Homa has made the cut in this tournament over the last two years, without looking like winning. His set of skills is not a perfect fit for the course but he could pick up plenty of birdies because of his record in par 5 scoring. Homa made the top 15 in his last two outings and we expect something similar in Orlando this week.
For the full list of odds for the outright winner of the Honda Classic, you should visit https://nj.pointsbet.com/sports/golf