What a week it was for the preview at the Honda Classic! 25/1 tip Chris Kirk got the big win that has alluded us for the start of 2023.
Kirk was leading by 1 heading down the last but when he dumped his second shot into the lake, the dream looked to be over. However, he managed to over come Eric Cole on their first playoff hole which was ultimately won by a superb third shot in from Kirk.
The returns didn’t stop there - 110/1 tip Ben Taylor came in a tie for 5th position. So, it was a win and a place for the preview last week leaving us with a profit of 40pts on the week, a really positive result that we will look to emulate this week.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Odds
Players travel north up the East coast of America to Orlando where they will compete this week at Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Arnie’s place) in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. If the players thought they had it tough last week at PGA National, then their headache will continue for another week here at Bay Hill.
It will be a wind affected tournament once more, where players will face agonizingly narrow fairways, thick rough and fast greens. Players have said it is the toughest of tests outside the Majors, you will see why when I go into the stats in a short while.
About Bay Hill Club & Lodge – Champion/Challenger Course
- Par 72
- 7466 yards approx.
- Originally designed by Dick Wilson, Arnold Palmer renovations in 2009
- 4 x Par 3s – ranging from 199-231 yards
- 10 x Par 4s – ranging from 390-480 yards
- 4 x Par 5s – ranging from 511-590 yards
- Large but very fast Bermuda greens
- Narrow Fairways
- Brutally thick rough
Expect a lot of the same that we saw last week at PGA National the Champion Course whereby players will have a tricky time finding the fairways off the tee. But if they miss the fairways they will have to negotiate the penal and thick rough that is known for awful and flyer lies.
It will be a tough start from the off on the first hole with a Par 4 of average length. With trees all down the left hand side, players will be forced to take anything but driver if they want to be safe from the tee to set up a lengthy second.
Players who have the game for a ‘bomb and gauge’ type of play can take driver at a number of these holes too cut of the angles but the fairways narrows the further up you go on most holes so they will have to rely on their scrambling from the rough just like Bryson did here spectacularly in 2021.
For most, the driver will not come out of the bag for a good six or seven holes of the front nine due to it being tree lined and not worth the risk. Therefore, players will have to be comfortable hitting smaller woods and irons from the tee in order to optimise chances.
Just like the second hole, there are three more 200+ yard Par 3s here around Bay Hill. They are usually a let up in pressure but this week the players will really feel it, with these holes forcing the shorter hitters to take woods off the tees and the bigger hitters will take longer irons they aren’t used to taking on Par 3s most weeks.
We see a tough set of ‘3 shot’ Par 5s usually on Tour, but not here. The players will have to capitalise on the four Par 5s they have in front of them here as they present the best chance to get birdies and eagles on the card. With them all falling under 590 yards, they are all reachable for all players in the field - wind depending of course.
Previous Winners and Performance Stats
2022 Winner – Scottie Scheffler -5
- 48th OTT
- 8th T2G
- 9th GIR
- 1st APP
- 40th SCR
- 4th PA
2021 Winner – Bryson DeChambeau -11
- 1st OTT
- 2nd T2G
- 2nd GIR
- 9th APP
- 10th SCR
- 29th PA
2020 Winner – Tyrell Hatton -4
- 24th OTT
- 5th T2G
- 9th GIR
- 2nd APP
- 7th SCR
- 13th PA
2019 Winner – Francesco Molinari -12
- 1st OTT
- 13th T2G
- 6th GIR
- 34th APP
- 5th SCR
- 18th PA
2018 Winner – Rory McIlroy -18
- 31st OTT
- 7th T2G
- 45th GIR
- 13th APP
- 1st SCR
- 1st PA
2017 Winner – Marc Leishman -11
- 32nd OTT
- 13th T2G
- 1st GIR
- 10th APP
- 16th SCR
- 23rd PA
Average stats for the past 5 winners – Average Score -12
- 20th OTT
- 8th T2G
- 12th GIR
- 9th APP
- 13th SCR
- 14th PA
Let's start with the stats I won’t be focusing on this week. Par 5 scoring on less that 600 yards. If your golfer isn’t coming here and scoring well on these Par 5s this week, then they should question themselves as at least 3 of them aren’t that testing. It might sound blunt, but it is true in my eyes.
Putting averages, I will not be looking at. As seen from four out of of the last five winners here, they didn’t putt superbly to win. Experience on fast Bermuda maybe is a side to look for but the emphasis is about finding the green first in regulation to force that chance.
Lets move onto what we will be looking for when creating our card this week then;
- OTT/Total driving
- GIR – 5/6 winners here all ranked top 10 for GIR
- Scrambling – 4/6 winners here all ranked top 10
- Good experience here for most selections
- Bogey Avoidance
- Par 3 200+ yards efficiency
A good drive can put players in the right positions to attack the greens, hitting the greens in regulation, avoiding mistakes where possible with their scrambling game along the way and taking care of the four tough Par 3s will be the recipe for a good week here around Bay Hill, simple right?
Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Tips
I have five each-way picks for readers this week. Good luck all and lets hope we can continue the good form. All picks are taken with 8 places, 1pt each way, unless stated in brackets.
1. Patrick Cantlay 25/1
2. Sunjae Im 33/1
3. Shane Lowry 45/1
4. Chris Kirk 50/1
5. Tom Hoge 110/1