Scott Shapiro's Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview
It appeared Tommy Fleetwood might earn his first PGA Tour victory last week at the Honda Classic, but instead it was 21-year-old South Korean Sungjae Im who found the winners’ circle for the initial time at PGA National to get the Florida portion of the tour rolling.
The second leg of the Sunshine State swing features a much stronger field, where the winning score will certainly be significantly higher than last week in Palm Beach Gardens. However, there is still lots of trouble to be found at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, where 239 balls found the water at least year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, and wind is almost always a factor.
Odds to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational
|Golfer||Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds|
A strong approach game, the ability to scramble, and scoring on par 5s and long par 3s top the list of statistics I focused on this week. I also factored in previous success at Bay Hill, as well as putting on Bermuda greens.
There is no doubt Rory McIlroy is the deserving +500 favorite. He ranks first in the field over the last 24 rounds in par 5 scoring, second in birdies or better gained, and is also in the top 25 in shots gained approach, scrambling, and scoring on long par 3s. However, despite three top six finishes in the last three years at Bay Hill, including a victory in 2018, his price is too short to swallow.
Here are the golfers I will wager on this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Tyrrell Hatton (+5000)
The Englishman has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but is a world-class player who has four wins on the European Tour and a plethora of top 10 finishes in big events, including a sixth-place effort in the 2018 U.S. Open, a sixth in the 2019 Open Championship, and most recently a sixth in the WGC-Mexico Championship. It is just a matter of time before the 28-year-old takes down his first tournament.
Hatton putts well on Bermuda greens, plays well under windy conditions, and rates out extremely well for this tournament, because of his elite approach game and ability to score on long par 4s. He also has shown an affinity for Bay Hill in the past, with three straight cuts made in his only three tries, including a fourth-place finish in 2017.
I love the value he offers, not only in the BetAmerica outright market, but also to finish in the top five (+1100) and top 10 (+500).
Alex Noren (+10000)
Much like Hatton, Noren has proven to be a world-class golfer but has yet to find the winners’ circle on the PGA Tour.
Last year was a poor one for him, after an amazing first half of 2018 that saw him finish second at the Farmers Open and third at the Honda Classic. The Swede has not finished in the top 10 since an eighth-place effort at the Hero World Challenge in November of 2018, but his game appears to be rounding back into form at the start of 2020.
Noren is comfortable on Bermuda greens, scores well on par 5s, and ranks seventh in the field in birdies or better gained. He also is strong with his irons and can scramble when it is required. There are obviously golfers who are more likely to win, but the price is just too tasty to not endorse.
I will sprinkle in a small outright wager but focus the majority of my budget on his top 10 (+1000) and top 20 (+400) price.
Jason Day (+2500)
If you are looking for a golfer who has had significant success in the States and yet still offers fair value, because of inconsistent play and injuries, Day is a great option.
The Australian has not played since a missed cut at the Genesis, but before that he finished fourth at Pebble Beach and 16th at the Farmers. His approach game has been a bit erratic, but he ranks fourth in the field over his last 24 rounds in par 5 scoring and in the top 25 in scrambling.
When his game is on and he is healthy, Day is one of the best golfers in the world, and he has proven it on this course, with a win in 2016 and four consecutive top 25 finishes, before withdrew in the opening round last year because of a back injury.
At +2500 he is worth an outright wager this week in Orlando.