Who is going to taste victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational? Oddschecker’s Tom Jacobs has made his picks to win in Florida
Alexander Knappe managed to bag us some each-way returns at the Hero Indian Open last week, and I hope to find more success at Bay Hill this week, one of the most popular stops on the PGA Tour. Scroll down for my Arnold Palmer Invitational betting tips, but first…
2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational preview
Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Florida, USA
Date: March 2-5, 2023
Course stats: Par 72; 7,466 yards
Course summary: This iconic venue is a traditionally tough parkland test, requiring accurate ball striking and solid putting. The course offers many defences, including lots of water and heavy bunkering. Strong play from tee to green is important here with dogleg holes to navigate, while long par-3s and reachable par-5s are sure to inject drama.
Purse: $20 million
Defending champion: Scottie Scheffler (-5)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm and Main Event from 6pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 12.30pm and Main Event from 8pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 12.15pm and Main Event from 7.30pm
2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational betting tips
The Banker: Jason Day @ 25/1 with Bet365
Jason Day has been in superb form this season, and we are seeing a glimpse of the player that got to World No 1 and won a major championship, even if the return is not fully complete yet. He can certainly rubber stamp that return to form with a win here this week, on a golf course he knows well and has won on before.
Day went wire to wire at this event in 2016 and while his form has not been great here on either side of that victory, he showed at Riviera last time out that his current form is allowing him to perform superbly at each and every course.
Outside of his win, Day’s best effort at this golf course is a 17th-place finish, which came the year before. Since then though he has finished inside the top 31 three times, including in 2021, when he was actually sitting in 11th going into the final round.
His 9th-place finish at Riviera was massive, given his lack of course form there, and now he returns to a layout that he knows he can win on and typically plays all four days at.
Day’s form currently reads 18th, 7th, 5th, and 9th, so he has been hovering around the lead for the whole of 2023 and now it feels like it is time for him to capitalise.
Tough weather is forecast for Friday, but Day is more than capable of playing through that.
The Each-Way Play: Tyrrell Hatton @ 35/1 with Bet365
Tyrrell Hatton has played this event six times in his career and never missed the cut. This has also allowed him to win here once, finishing 2nd last year and he was also 4th on his debut, so there is clearly something about Bay Hill he loves.
It is not that much of a surprise to see he likes it here given the number of links specialists that continue to pop up on the leaderboard and in the winner’s circle here. This is certainly Hatton’s favourite venue on Tour.
We know Hatton likes to repeat form. Back-to-back wins and multiple other top-three finishes at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship tell you that and he can keep making cheque after cheque at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as well.
Hatton was 2nd at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship to end 2022, and he kicked off the year with a 7th in Abu Dhabi. Perhaps most impressive though was his 6th-place finish at the Phoenix Open, and that is the platform I think he will build on to contend here once more. Since finishing 6th at Scottsdale, Hatton has once more finished 40th at Riviera and now he will be ready to hit the first page of the leaderboard again at Bay Hill.
The Long Shot: Rickie Fowler @ 50/1 with Bet365
Much like Jason Day, Rickie Fowler is enjoying something of a renaissance this season, and under the tutelage of Butch Harmon again, there is little reason to think that will slow down as the season progresses.
His coach has already earmarked him for “at least one win” this season, and with wins at the Honda Classic and The Players Championship already on his resume, these could be two important weeks in Florida.
Fowler is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the Masters, as he ranks 70th in the world, but a win here or at TPC Sawgrass would take care of an invite and I suspect he can go close.
Fowler is hitting the ball well again now his swing changes have bedded in and he has recently ranked inside the top nine in SG: Approach in each of his past four events. His all-around game has improved week-on-week as well, as his SG: Tee to Green numbers are trending in the right direction, ranking 54-26-22-12 in those same four starts.
Fowler has made 11 of 12 cuts here and does fit the trend of a previous top five here as he finished 3rd in 2013. He was also 5th after 54 holes on his second start in 2011. In recent visits, Fowler has finished 12th (2017), 14th (2018), and 18th (2020) at this event, so now he’s playing some of his best golf again, he should be right up for this test.
Like Day again, Fowler’s 20th place finish at Riviera should be noted, as that equalled his best effort on a course he typically struggles at.
Perhaps not a “long shot” at that price, but Fowler may be the value in the field for those that are looking to return to their brilliant best this season.
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