Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Par 72, 7,419 yards
The next stop on the PGA Tour is The Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill. Tiger Woods has won this event an impressive eight times, but won’t be playing this week. This course is a par 72 and is a lengthy 7,419 yards. The course was designed by Dick Wilson in 1961, and illustrates his typical approach of slightly elevating the putting surfaces to improve visibility and drainage. The course covers 270 acres and lies between the community of Bay Hill, Florida and the Butler Chain of Lakes. Owned by Arnold Palmer since 1974, it has hosted the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979.
This course is a typical Florida setup with plenty of water and greenside bunkers coming into play. The course layout was changed in 2010 from a par 70 to a par 72 and has a total of four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. The reason for this was to allow the players to give themselves more opportunities to make birdies. The course is situated along the Butler Chain of Lakes and has a tendency to get windy. The fairways are quite forgiving here so driving accuracy isn’t too much of an issue. Like a lot of the Florida courses we have seen over the last few weeks, water hazards come into play on roughly 9 of the 18 holes.
There are four par 3’s which are amongst the most difficult on the PGA Tour so par 3 scoring will be an important here. Good par 5 scoring stats will certainly be a big plus along with good ball striking, scrambling, putting and GIR. Good current form and good form around Bay Hill are also a big plus this week.
Adam Scott 8/1
The big question on everyone’s lips this week is can Adam Scott do the hat trick and make it three in a row? In my opinion, yes. With two wins and a second in his last three events the Aussie is in absolutely flying form and is without a doubt the favourite here this week.
He played brilliantly in Riviera and just came up short despite chipping in on the 18th for a birdie to finish T2. He followed that with a win at The Honda shooting 70,65,66,70 to finish nine under for the tournament. He then had another great week at The WGC Cadillac in Doral recording his second win in two weeks finishing one clear after a miraculous up and down on the 18th. He has played well at Bay Hill in the past finishing T3 in 2014 which included an opening round course record 62.
Scott looks like he could suit this course ranking ninth in driving distance, sixth in GIR and first in SGTTG. He also ranks ninth in par 3 scoring and first in par 5 scoring which are two stats that will stand to him here at Bay Hill this week.
Henrik Stenson 12/1
The Swede had a good performance at The Valspar last week shooting 71,70,70,72 on his way to a respectable T11 finish. He also had a good week in Doral finishing in a respectable T28, which would have been a lot better if it weren’t for a third round 76. Stenson started the year off with two top 6’s in the Desert Swing finishing T3 in Abu Dhabi and T6 the following week in Dubai.
He has a superb record around Bay Hill finishing second last year, fifth in 2014, T8 in 2013 and T15 in 2012. Stenson ticks a lot of boxes statswise here ranking fourth in stroke average, 22nd in driving accuracy, 13th in GIR and third in strokes gained putting. With some decent performances over the last few weeks and a great record here, Henrik Stenson could right the wrongs of last year and get the job done this week.
Ryan Moore 33/1
After another solid performance at The Valspar last week, I’ve decided to give Ryan Moore another go here in Bay Hill. He added another top 10 finish to the list last week finishing solo third at Copperhead making that five top 11’s in seven starts. He started the season with a T10 at The Frys, T10 at The CIMB Classic, T11 in Phoenix and a solo 10th in Riviera at The Northern Trust Open which included a superb ace on the 16th in the final round.
Moore has played well here in the past finishing fourth here in 2012 and 12th in 2011. Statswise he ranks 30th in driving distance, 18th in SGTTG, second in par 3 scoring and ninth in par 4 scoring. If he putts well here this week he could be right in the mix.
Brandt Snedeker 40/1
It seems Sneds has recovered from sore ribs after withdrawing from the WGC Cadillac in Doral a couple of weeks and could come back with a bang here at Bay Hill. He has had a superb season so far which began with a T17 at The Frys and a win at The Franklin Templeton with partner Jason Dufner.
He started 2016 off with a T3 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, lost out in a playoff at The Sony in Hawaii and had a superb win in Torrey Pines which included a superb final round 69 in almost unplayable conditions. He’s gone a bit quiet lately finishing T33 in Phoenix and T35 in Pebble but can come back to good form on a course he has played well on in the past.
He finished 13th here last year and eighth in 2014 and ticks a lot of boxes statistically. He is averaging just over 295 off the tee and ranks sixth in SGP. He also ranks 12th in par 3 scoring and ninth in par 4 scoring. If he’s fit and healthy he should be right in the mix.
Jason Kokrak 60/1
Kokrak came close to victory in Riviera and played solidly all week. He began with a 68 in round one and followed that with a 64,70,68 to finish 14 under just falling one short of winner Bubba Watson. He has had a mixed bag of form this season finishing T12 at The Sanderson Farms and followed that with a T17 at The OHL Classic. He started 2016 with a respectable T25 at The Farmers in Torrey pines and had another decent week in Pebble with a T30 finish.
He’s gone a bit cold over the last couple of weeks but has a great record here finishing sixth here last year and fourth in 2014. Kokrak is a huge hitter averaging 310 off the tee ranking seventh in driving distance. With four par 5’s and a good record over the last two years, Kokrak can go well here at a big price.
Final Selections –
Adam Scott 8/1 2pts EW
Henrik Stenson 12/1 2pts EW
Ryan Moore 33/1 1pt EW
Brandt Snedeker 40/1 1pt EW
Jaosn Kokrak 60/1 1pt EW
Total Staked = 14 pts
Paddypower paying 7 places this week.
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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