Daily Fantasy Golf: Arnold Palmer Invitational Course Overview
The PGA Tour showed just how exciting it can be last weekend during the Valspar Championship.
Adam Hadwin, who posted a historic 59 back in January, looked primed to earn his first PGA Tour win, but Patrick Cantlay had other ideas.
Five birdies in his last six holes.
Here comes Patrick Cantlay!#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/7z2erRUSMK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 12, 2017
Then, Hadwin found the drink on the 16th.
The Snake Pit claims another victim.
This time, it's leader Adam Hadwin.#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/C1UfZX8Ayy
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 12, 2017
But Hadwin held on to win regardless, claiming his first Tour trophy.
Frankly, that's a big part of what makes the PGA so engaging each and every week. Anything can happen.
So what should you be expecting for this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida while you're building your FanDuel PGA lineups?
Course and Tournament Overview
Bay Hill opened in 1961 and is a 7,419-yard par 72, making it one of the 15 longest courses on the PGA Tour.
However, with the quantity of water hazards and bunkers on the course, accuracy -- and not just distance -- will be crucial. That's most apparent on the 18th hole, which features a water- and rock-lined green. And the 6th can lead to disaster.
In 2013-14, Bay Hill played 0.504 strokes over par, but that dropped to 0.870 below par in 2014-15 and 0.515 below par last season.
The field will comprise 120 golfers, given its invitational status, with the top 70 making it through the cut after Round 2.
Recent Tournament History
Jason Day won this event last season at -17 after leading after each round. Kevin Chappell (-16), Troy Merritt (-14), Henrik Stenson (-14), and Zach Johnson (-12) rounded out the top five and showing that scores can get pretty low despite the tough obstacles on the course.
In 2015, Stenson (-18) finished second behind Matt Every (-19), who collected his second straight win at this event.
Matt Jones (-17), Morgan Hoffmann (-15), and Ben Martin (-14) finished inside the top five, as well. Johnson was -12 and tied for ninth and has a strong history here as well.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee-to-green and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for given the demanding course makeup of Bay Hill.
|Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida
|Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
If these sound confusing to you, be sure to check out our primer on advanced PGA stats to help get your feet wet.
Again, strokes gained: tee-to-green is going to be a prominent stat for just about any tournament, but given how tough this course can be, targeting golfers who can play above the level of the rest of the field is a sensible route to go.
We're also going to hone in on strokes gained: around the green, as Day ranked first in that stat here last year, and he was able to string together a four-day lead.
Bogey avoidance is paramount for every FanDuel tournament, as well, but targeting golfers who can avoid implosions and holes over par might be the best way to approach this weekend, which should be difficult overall.
Scores can go pretty low, still, as it took a -17 and -19 to win the past two events here. Birdies and final position are the most important stats, but prioritize golfers who avoid bogeys.
While we are still stressing accuracy, be on the lookout for golfers who can drive the ball far off the tee, as this course runs a bit long. There are four par 5s, and the par 3s run between 199 and 231 yards.
Course History Studs
We can't get far into this list before we throw out the name Matt Every ($4,800 on FanDuel), who won here in 2014 and 2015. In 2013, he tied for 34th, and in 2012, he tied for 24th. Of course, he did miss the cut last year, which he has done in his past three completed tournaments.
Prior to winning here in 2016, Jason Day ($10,300) earned a T17 in 2015.
Zach Johnson ($8,500) is coming off two straight top-10s here, a fifth-place finish in 2016 and a T9 in 2015. He's also made five straight cuts at Bay Hill, including a T11, a T34, and a T43.
But Henrik Stenson ($10,200) might have the best track record of all in the past five tournaments: T15, T8, T5, 2, T3. That's five straight top 15s if you lost count. He's not cheap, but he is coming off of a T7 at the Valspar last week even though he hasn't mastered his Jedi mind tricks.
Henrik Stenson remains the best. pic.twitter.com/rUwvC9hH6o
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) March 12, 2017
Along with Stenson and Johnson, Justin Rose ($9,700), Francesco Molinari ($7,700), Kevin Na ($7,400), Keegan Bradley ($6,900), Graeme McDowell ($6,900), and Jason Kokrak ($5,400) all have at least two top-10s here in the past five events.