Par 72, 7,419 yards
Owned by the late Arnold Palmer since 1974, the famous Bay Hill Country Club is a par 72 measuring 7,419 yards and has hosted the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979. 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.
This course is a typical Florida setup with plenty of water and green side 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 among 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 hitting plenty of GIR.
Stenson had a superb start last week in Copperhead opening with an impressive 64 in round one at the Valspar. He was steady as a rock for the following three rounds shooting 71,71,70 to post 8 under par in total and T7 for the tournament. He has been playing well over the last few months with seven top 10’s in his last seven starts. He had a good week at the WGC HSBC Champions finishing T2 and followed that with a solo eighth at the Nedbank in South Africa, T9 at the DP World in Dubai, T8 in Abu Dhabi, solo second at the Hero World Challenge and a solo second at the Dubai Desert Classic recently.
Stenson has a great record here in Bay Hill finishing 15,8,5,2,3 in his last five appearances here. Staswise he ranks fourth in stroke average, sixth in driving accuracy and third in GIR so far this season on the European Tour. If he putts well he could go very well this week.
Snedeker’s game has been in great shape since the New Year with four top 15’s in his last six starts. He played well at the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii finishing T14 and followed that with a T9 at The Farmers in Torrey Pines, solo fourth in Pebble Beach and a T7 at the WGC Mexico Championship.
He is another player with a decent record here with two top 15’s in his last three appearances here finishing eighth in 2014 and T13 in 2015. Staswise Snedeker ranks 30th in GIR, 27th in SG around the green, sixth in par 3 scoring and 37th in par 4 scoring.
The Web.com rookie didn’t have the best start to the season but he is certainly finding his stride over the last couple of weeks. He had his third top 10 finish in a row last week at The Valspar finishing T7 on eight under for the tournament. He also played well in LA at the Genesis Open shooting 69,69,63,72 to post 11 under in total and T4 for the week. Bryan then teed it up at the Honda and finished T4 on seven under, which included an opening round 64.
He is another player that looks like he could suit this course ranking 27th in SG approaches to the green, 21st in SG around the green and 13th in par 3 scoring.
The Englishman has been in great form over the last three months with a win already under his belt along with two top 10’s and a top 15 in his last six starts. Fleetwood had a great week at the Hong Kong Open where he didn’t shoot worse than a 68 throughout the tournament to finish T3. He followed that with a win in Abu Dhabi and a T12 at The Maybank Championship in Malaysia. Tommy then travelled to Mexico where he teed it up at the WGC Mexico Championship and played superbly all week to finish solo second which included a pair of 66’s over the weekend.
This will be his first appearance here in Bay Hill and this course could suit his game. He ranks seventh in stroke average, 25th in driving accuracy and first in GIR on the European Tour this season.
Final Selections –
Henrik Stenson 9/1 1pt EW
Brandt Snedeker 33/1 0.5pts EW
Wesley Bryan 50/1 0.5pts EW
Tommy Fleetwood 0.5pts EW
Total Staked = 5pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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