Arnold Palmer Invitational | Stats, Trends & Things You Don’t Need To Know
Bay Hill Club & Lounge
Par 72 – 7,466 Yards – Bermudagrass Greens
Fairways Hit: 55.38% (13th hardest out of 51)
Greens Hit: 52.58% (5th hardest out of 51)
Birdie or Better: 18.13% (12th hardest out of 51)
Scoring Average: 73.02 (9th hardest out of 51)
I’m trying to look away but my eyes keep going back to Matt Fitzpatrick. He has (2) really good things in his favor this week:
- His ability to drive the ball — dating back to last year’s Genesis Invitational, he’s played 16 measured events. He’s gained strokes off-the-tee in 14 of them. The two that he lost were (-0.34) and (-0.08). Over his last 100 rounds, he’s gaining 0.47 strokes per round which is more than Dustin Johnson, Sungjae Im and Scottie Scheffler (to name a few).
- He seems to constantly show up in tough fields and/or tough courses. Stick with that same stretch of golf as above, he has (8) Top 11 finishes. The average Strength of Field on this events is 509.1 (PGA TOUR average is about 448). This doesn’t include his win on the DP World Tour nor his T2 in the DP World Tour Championship.
- Oh you want more? You want a third thing? Three straight Top 10s at this event.
Elite Course History For Rors
Rory McIlroy is really good at golf on nearly every course on planet Earth. However, he’s really really good at Bay Hill. He’s averaging 2.41 strokes gained per round over 28 rounds.
Since 2008, there are only (9) instances of a golfer gaining at least 2.4 strokes per round over 28+ rounds at a single course. Rory is on the list three times. Here are the qualifying players, sorted by SG.
(CHARLEY HOFFMAN SIGHTING!)
Last Week’s Chalk is This Week’s … Chalk?
Sungjae Im (21.4%), Chris Kirk (14%) and Keith Mitchell (17.4%) were all popular options for last week’s Honda Classic. Maybe we should consider them again this week. Behind Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, those three have gained more DraftKings points of anyone else with multiple starts here since 2018.
Easy Does It!
The 16th hole at Bay Hill is a par 5 that has historically played as the easiest hole on the course… by a mile.
So when PrizePicks released their single-hole props for this week and I saw no. 16 was on there — I started licking my chops! Of the 22 golfers available on PrizePicks, who have played the 16th hole before, they have combined to go under 64.49% of the time! Notables:
- Scottie Scheffler unders (4/4 — 100%)
- Corey Conners unders (6/8 — 75.0%)
- Adam Scott unders (8/10 — 80.0%)
- Justin Rose unders (14/20 — 70.0%)
- Matt Fitzpatrick unders (17/22 — 77.27%)
Barring some ridiculous Thursday weather conditions, I think it’s time to smash the unders. You can play here: bit.ly/3oxONZw (Code “RICK”)
Harder Since 2020
There’s a really interesting nugget dropped by Andy Lack on this week’s Tuesday Scramble. Bay Hill hired a new Director of Grounds, Chris Flynn, in 2019. Since then, you can see a tangible difference in scoring conditions. Here’s a few notes:
If you wanted to focus research on the last two years, I think that might be more representative of current course set-up.
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