Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Last week's Valspar Championship Championship reminded us that anything is possible on the PGA Tour.
Sure, Tiger Woods finished tied for second, but Paul Casey actually netted a win for just the second time on the PGA Tour.
This week, the Tour heads to Bay Hill Club & Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Spoiler alert: Tiger has owned this course in the past. Let's dive in.
Course and Tournament Overview
Bay Hill is a long course, spanning 7,419 yards. The par 72 had played fairly easy in 2015 and 2016 but came back to being one of the tour's toughest challenges last season.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yds||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||9||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||72.890||0.890|
|2016||28||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||71.485||-0.515|
|2015||36||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||71.121||-0.879|
|2014||16||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||72.473||0.473|
|2013||12||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||72.928||0.928|
|2012||12||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||73.176||1.176|
|2011||8||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,419||73.203||1.203|
|2010||9||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||72||7,353||72.892||0.892|
|2009||4||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||70||7,167||72.190||2.190|
|2008||18||Bay Hill Club & Lodge||70||7,162||70.940||0.940|
The invitational setup has the field size at 120, so it's a bit smaller than the full field, but there's still a cut after the second round for the top 70 plus ties.
These stats stand out when examining prior iterations of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
|Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida|
|Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermudagrass|
|Strokes Gained: Approach the Green|
|Proximity from 175+ Yards|
|Par 5 Scoring|
The greens are Bermudagrass -- and fast -- and putting well here has been crucial. Putting well almost always correlates to success, but knowing your way around Bermuda greens should help separate the field this week.
Bunkers litter the course, around 85 of them in total, and that puts an emphasis on scrambling or strokes gained: around the green. Take your pick there.
Despite the course's length, fairways are easy to hit, and distance alone doesn't really lead to success. It's more about the second shot, giving weight to strokes gained: approach and proximity from 175 yards and farther.
Par 5 scoring will allow the top of the leaderboard separate from the rest of the pack, based on historical importance of par 5 scoring here.
Overall, with the way wind can impact this already difficult course, it's not the worst idea to give a little extra weight to course history this week. With that being said, the following golfers have fared well here in the past.
Course History Studs
Tiger Woods, well, since 2006, Woods has played Bay Hill seven times. He won four of those (2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013). His other three tries were all top-25s.
Henrik Stenson broke a five-year streak of top 15s (15th, 8th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd) with a missed cut last year. Francesco Molinari has played here five years running, finishing 34th, 5th, 17th, 9th, and 7th.
Justin Rose missed the cut twice here (2010 and 2014) but was top-30 in his seven other attempts at Bay Hill. Rory McIlroy has finished 11th, 27th, and 4th over the past three years. Hideki Matsuyama was 21st, 6th, and 45th over the past three, as well.
Jamie Lovemark put a 2010 missed cut in the rearview mirror, finishing 6th and 23rd in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Kiradech Aphibarnart has a pair of sixth-place finishes here in 2015 and 2016. Emiliano Grillo was 17th in 2016 and 7th in 2017.