Arnold Palmer Invitational: Preview of a Stacked Field and Tough Course Conditions at Bay Hill Club & Lodge
The PGA Tour is heading to Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a 7,466-yard par 72 with Bermuda grass greens. The field for this event is stacked, as 27 of the top 30 players in the world will be in attendance, including nine of the Top 10, 23 of the Top 25, and 42 of the Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.
The two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler (-5) is a favorite to win again. He managed to win in 2022 with only two rounds under par, logging a five-under-par as his winning score, beating Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel, and Tyrell Hatton by one stroke. Other favorites include Rory McIlroy (+950), Jon Rahm (6-1), Will Zalatoris (18-1), and Bryson DeChambeau (20-1).
The PGA Tour circuit's Bay Hill is a very challenging course, with an average score of 73.8 in the first round of 2022. The windy weather will make it even more difficult to maneuver the tight dog-leg fairways and the TifDwarf Bermudagrass greens, which are designed to move quickly. It has ranked as a Top 10 hardest course on tour (including majors!) in five of the last six years and ranked out as the hardest back in 2020.
McClure's model forecasted Jon Rahm to be at the top of the rankings at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions, the American Express, and the Genesis Invitational. J.T. Poston was also included among the model's top picks to take home the 2022 John Deere Classic trophy. McClure's best bets for the entire tournament returned an impressive gain of almost $1,100, with the highest hit at +5500. McClure's model predicted Scottie Scheffler would win his first career major championship at the 2022 Masters prior to the weekend.
Tyrrell Hatton (+4000) is another former winner at Bay Hill and has shown that he can perform in a field of this caliber. Hatton is a fan of Bermuda greens, making this tournament a great fit for him. At the WM Phoenix Open, Hatton was outstanding, gaining 9.5 strokes from tee to green, which resulted in a sixth-place finish.
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