The 2020 PGA Tour season continues this weekend as we head to the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando for the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational.
One of the most prestigious events of the year, the Invitational has brought together a strong field this season as the top golfers in the world prepare for The Players next weekend! As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the action below!
It was a solid weekend last week at the Honda Classic for the first tournament of the Florida swing. Our top pick, Tommy Fleetwood, finished 3rd at the end of play while our value tip Harris English was also strong, finishing T17.
The field will be considerably stronger this week, with some of the top players in the world competing in preparation for The Players next weekend.
The No.1 ranked player in the world, Rory McIlroy, is back in action after a week off and he’ll be looking for his second win of the season after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions earlier in the year. McIlroy will be joined in Florida by four more players ranked inside the top 10 in Brooks Koepka (2), Adam Scott (6), Patrick Reed (9) and Tommy Fleetwood (10).
Former winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational will also be in attendance this week. Jason Day, Robert Gamez, Marc Leishman, McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Francesco Molinari will all be looking to lift the trophy for a second time while Matt Every can win his third title after winning in 2014 and 2015. One notable absent past winner is of course Tiger Woods, who has won the tournament on eight different occasions.
Some of the other top contenders competing this week include Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele, Sungjae Im, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson.
Bay Hill opened in 1961 and was redesigned by Arnold Palmer in 2009. At over 7,400 yards as a Par 72, the course demands length off the tee, so strong drivers will be a key focus for us this week. The greens at Bay Hill also rank amongst the toughest to hit on tour, this is because of their size but also because most players are hitting long irons into most greens due to the sheer length of the course.
Long hitters off the tee will be able to play short irons into the green, giving them a big advantage at Bay Hill.
It’s all about Rory this week, it has to be. The man is ranked No.1 in the world for a reason and has had one of the more dominant PGA Tour seasons to date. McIlroy has played in five official PGA tournaments so far this season and his results read:
T3 at the ZOZO Championship
1st at the WGC-HSBC Champions
T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open
T5 at the Genesis Invitational
5th at the WGC-Mexico Championship
Five tournaments, five top 5 fnishes for the No.1 player in the world and with Bay Hill the course in question this week, we find it hard to believe he wont be in the mix once again this weekend. He is currently ranked 7th on tour in shots gained off the tee, 3rd in shots gained on approach and 1st in shots gained from tee-to-green.
Also has great pedigree at Bay Hill, with his five trips there resulting in a T6, 1st, T4, T27, and T11 over the past five years.
If you’re hunting a bit more value this weekend, we like the look of Tony Finau. The hard hitting American has some high finishes this season already including a 2nd at the Waste Management Open and a T6 at the Farmers Insurance in back to back weeks.
Finau ranks 6th on tour in shots gained from tee-to-green and 7th in shots gained overall. Hasn’t made the trip to Bay Hill in the last two years but is in solid form at the moment and represents good value at $34.
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