The PGA TOUR continues the Florida swing this week with the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Located in Orlando, the Bay Hill Club (par 72, 7,466 yards, Bermuda greens) has been the only course to host this tournament since 1979. A year ago, Scottie Scheffler picked one of his four wins of the season, finishing -5 at Bay Hill, edging out Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel, and Tyrell Hatton by one shot.
As you can see from Scheffler’s high winning score last year, Bay Hill is undoubtedly one of the most challenging courses these players will face all season. This difficult par 72 presents narrow fairways, penalizing rough, 84 bunkers, and water on half of the holes. With all this danger to worry about, accuracy is far more important than distance at Bay Hill, and clubbing down will be a common strategy this week. As a result, OTT stats aren’t a focus at this venue. Conversely, we need to be prioritizing players who come into this week in strong form with their irons, despite Bay Hill being home to some of the largest greens on the PGA TOUR. Scheffler led his field in SG APP last season, making him the third straight API champion to rank top-10 in the metric.
At Bay Hill, the four par fives are by far the easiest holes at the venue, and walking away with at least a birdie on these holes is essential if you want to contend at this tournament. For two years running, the golfer to secure the top prize at the API has ranked top three in SG on the par fives.
As one of the PGA TOUR’s elevated events this season, the API boasts a $20 Million purse and features 23 of the top-25 players in the world. Overall, this is a smaller field, with only 120 golfers competing at Arnie’s place this week. Still, there will be a normal top-65 and ties cutline following the first two rounds, meaning that a higher percentage of the field than usual will be advancing to the weekend.
This stacked field is filled with appealing value plays, and below, I break down four of my favorite targets that all cost less than $7.5K on DraftKings.
Seamus Power ($7,400) – Power is playing the best golf of his career right now. Coming into this week, the Irishman has recorded eight straight top-25 finishes, including a win at the Bermuda Championship, a T3 at the World Wide Technology Championship, and a T5 at the RSM Classic. During this impressive run, Power has shot under par in 26 of his 32 rounds. The 35-year-old missed the weekend in his API debut last season but is a much better player this time around and can’t be ignored at this low salary. Currently, Power sits at a career-best No.28 in the world golf rankings but is only the 35th most expensive golfer on DraftKings this week.
Gary Woodland ($7,400) – Woodland is on the heels of his best finish of the season, with a T9 at the Genesis, making his fifth made cut in his last six starts. At Riviera that week, the veteran put on a ball-striking clinic, ranking eighth and third in SGT2G and SG APP, respectively. Furthermore, Woodland dominated the par fives of Riviera, ranking second in par five efficiency for the event. The 38-year-old will now look to build off this stellar showing at Bay Hill, where Woodland owns an illustrious resume. In seven appearances at the par 72, the 2019 U.S. Open champion has made five cuts and tallied four top-30 finishes, with the best of the group being a T5 just last season. Woodland should add another quality finish to his Bay Hill resume this week and is a no-brainer at this soft price tag.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,100) – Bezuidenhout has been very successful at Bay Hill, carding a top-20 finish at the par 72 each of the last three years, most notably with a T7 in 2021. The South African returns to Bay Hill this week as the maker of 13 of his last 15 cuts, with six of these finishes being top-30 results. Outside of around the greens, Bezuidenhout gained strokes in every major category at the Honda Classic this past week, and if he can carry this momentum over to Bay Hill, the 28-year-old should effortlessly outproduce this discounted price tag, possibly with his fourth career top-20 finish at Arnie’s place. For last year’s API, Bezuidenhout was notably more expensive at $7.7K.
Zach Johnson ($6,500) – If you are looking for a full punt to help you squeeze in multiple studs this week, look no further than Johnson. After an uninspiring campaign last year, the two-time major champion has gotten back on track this season, missing only one cut in six starts. Last week at the Honda Classic, Johnson supplied a season-best T12 finish while gaining 4.9 strokes from T2G and 4.0 strokes on APP, both of which also set new season highs for the 47-year-old. In this type of form, not only should Johnson advance through the cut at Bay Hill this week, he is a legitimate threat for a top-30 finish at this course he knows extremely well. At the par 72, Johnson has only missed one cut in 19 starts and has generated seven top-30 finishes.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.