Arnold Palmer Invitational
Date: March 4th – 7th
Course: Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Purse: $9.3MM ($1.6MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Tyrrell Hatton (-4)
OWGR Points: 60
Bay Hill Club & Lodge — Built by Bob Simmons in 1961, it was Dick Wilson who actually designed the course. This 7,400 yard par 72 is a good mixture with some challenges to get from tee to green. The greens themselves are slightly elevated which stresses good approach shots. A few doglegs run around water with traps accurately placed around the pin on many greens. The Bermuda grass and length stress importance of good accurate Tee and Iron shots. The final three holes, much like Valspar will be a good test to the overall round.
My Starting 4
Rory McIlroy (fourth selection this year) — No one is better than McIlroy here. Top seven finishes each of the last four years at Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Marc Leishman (second selection this year) — Leishman has a near perfect record here save 2019 where he finished all the way back at 23rd (ok so it’s not really that bad). Clearly Marc, like Rory, is solid at the Arnold Palmer Classic.
Luke List (fourth selection this year) — List and his long drives fare well across the 7,400 yards. He was among the top 20 here in 2017-2019 (he did not participate last year).
Tyrell Hatton (first selection this year) — Hatton’s win last year was no fluke. He was 4th here in 2017 and 29th here in 2019. He’s currently 6th in official world golf ranking.
My Bench 2
Rickie Fowler (fourth selection this year) — Fowler was among the top 20 here three of the last four years. The one outlier year he was 40th. He’s had some ups and downs this season but he’s driving well and hitting well around the greens, he just needs to clean up the putting a bit.
Charley Hoffman (first selection this year) — Hoffman has finished 15th or better here three of the last four years. He had some withdraws in January with some back issues but if you remove those he’s made the cut in three of his last four tournaments finishing 20th or better in two. It’s a risk with the back issues but it could pan out well.
Fun Fact: Arnold Palmer won here once in 1971.
2020-2021 Stats (1st percent would be the top golfer picked every week)
Starting 4: Average finish 35th (28th percent)
Bench 2: Average finish 48th (38th percent)