- Full preview of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with The Golf Insider
- Four value picks between $21 and $81
Arnold Palmer Invitational: The Tournament
This isn’t one of the oldest events on the schedule, but it’s one of the more prestigious due to the name it now bears. The tournament started out as the Florida Citrus Open and then was the Bay Hill Invitational until 2007, when it took on the name of the legendary golfer (who won this event once, in 1971). It’s one of only five invitational events on the PGA Tour and its status is further enhanced by the fact that Tiger Woods – who doesn’t play this week due to injury – has won this event no less than eight times!
Arnold Palmer Invitational: The Course
We’re at the Bay Hill Golf Club near Orlando in Florida. Built in 1960, it was designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee before Arnold Palmer bought it in 1976 and improved the facility. The course started out as a par 70, but after several changes over the years – including a widening of the fairways and a reshaping of the treeline – it’s now an easier-scoring par 72 stretching over 7,419 yards.
Easier… but by no means easy!
264: Payne Stewart (1984)
62: Adam Scott (2014)
Arnold Palmer Invitational: Past Winners
2019: Francesco Molinari
2018: Rory McIlroy
2017: Marc Leishman
2016: Jason Day
2015: Matt Every
Arnold Palmer Invitational: The Field
Reduced numbers this week as this is an invitational field limited to 120. Rory McIlroy is the $6.00 with BetEasy
Arnold Palmer Invitational: The Weather
There’s plenty of cloud around to start the week, but the chance of rain is still below 10% on any given day. Temperatures will hit the mid-20s. Wind speeds will be around the 12-18mph all week, so the players will not have it all their own way.
Arnold Palmer Invitational: Outright Value Bets
Adam Scott (currently $21 with BetEasy)
With two wins from his last three starts there aren’t many in world golf who are playing better right now than Scott. At the end of 2019 he claimed the Australian PGA Championship before winning the Genesis Invitational on his first PGA start of 2020. Last time out in Mexico he finished 26th, which is more than acceptable off the back of his Riviera win. Bay Hill is a course where great ball-strikers and tee-to-green machines thrive, which is the ideal set-up for Scott as he’s almost unrivalled in these categories. He has two third place finishes to his name here and arrives in the form of his life. Apart from McIlroy, I think Scott is the next best in the field this week and at the price looks a superb play.
Marc Leishman (currently $41 with BetEasy)
I’m sticking with Leishman again this week because despite a poor finish in Mexico, his ball-striking numbers still stood out. Leishman is usually hit-or-miss with his long game, but recently it’s been more hit and it’s been the short game that’s let him down. Leishman has a superb record at Bay Hill, winning here in 2017, and finishing third and seventh in 2011 and 2018 respectively. He loves the layout and if he brings his usually reliable short game this week, there’s every chance he can go close to a second win. At the price he’s another solid bet for me with the each-way value being extremely good.
Tyrrell Hatton (currently $51 with BetEasy)
After a month out due to wrist surgery, Hatton came back at the Mexico WGC and continued where he left off. He played superbly tee-to-green all week showing no signs of rust or injury. He finished sixth on the week, but first in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green to further underline how good he is on tough golf courses. Bay Hill should suit the Englishman perfectly and it’s no surprise that the fiery Hatton finished fourth here on debut in 2017. Hatton won the Turkish Airlines Open just three starts ago so confidence couldn’t be higher. Hopefully he’s shaken off the putting rust and can compete once more this week at a generous price.
Brendan Steele (currently $81 with BetEasy)
Steele was superb from tee-to-green last week at the Honda Classic, but an average putting display saw him come up just short. Steele’s long game was in fine form, which is really encouraging considering he struggled with this for most of 2019. He’s known for his great driving and laser-like iron shots and we saw plenty of this on show last week. Steele should have won the Sony Open in Hawaii earlier in the season, so this form is no fluke. The layers simply haven’t adjusted his price enough for me. He looks a big price to continue his great form on a course that should play to his strengths. On his last four starts here Steele hasn’t finished worse than 46th which is another encouraging stat. At anything bigger than 66-1 he looks an auto-play for me this week.”
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