Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational

2020 US PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Damien Kayat takes a look at the Arnold Palmer Invitational taking place at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

2020 US PGA Tour | Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Thursday 05 March - Sunday 08 March 

Personally, I’ve always felt that this event has a nearly spiritual dimension due to Arnold Palmer’s association with the event. The late Palmer was perhaps more influential than anyone else in helping to popularize and commercialize the game prior to the era of Tiger. But due to the rejigging of the FedEx Cup schedule, his event has sadly diminished in popularity over the last few years: The Players takes place next week.  But this year’s edition has managed to attract a strong field sans eight-time champion Tiger Woods. Current World Number One Rory McIlroy has spoken at length about his respect for this event and he will lead a powerful field this week. It will be interesting to see how Tommy Fleetwood responds this week after that ultimate brain-freeze at the Champion last week.

Originally known as the Florida Citrus Open, this event dates back all the way to 1966. Arnold Palmer won the event in 1971 and then took over hosting duties in 1979. That saw a permanent move to Bay Hill, a course owned by Palmer since 1976. Palmer tinkered with the course over many years and it remains a fairly stern test. Measuring nearly 7,500 yards, it would appear to be a bombers paradise. But Molinari’s victory last year showed that there are multiple ways to tame this challenge. The irrigation system focuses mostly on the primary rough, meaning that the over-seeded rough can become quite penal. So a combination of distance and accuracy is important.  But statistical analysis seems to indicate that putting on these quick greens will prove crucial this week.

Rory will be the headline act this week in the absence of Tiger through injury. McIlroy has been the model of consistency, finishing in the top 5 of all five events played thus far. The former Bay Hill Champion will be looking to get his game in tip-top shape ahead of his Players defence next week. Brooks Koepka will be desperate to regain some putting confidence after a missed cut last week. Sungjae I'm will once again take his mobile show on the road and look to build on his maiden PGA Tour victory last week. Recent WGC champion Patrick Reed will be in attendance alongside an ebullient Bryson DeChambeau. Molinari will be here to defend his title a week after his brother was quarantined back home due to the Coronavirus. 

Past Winners
2019: Francisco Molinari (-12)
2018: Rory McIlroy (-18)
2017: Mark Leishmann (-11)
2016: Jason Day (-17)
2015: Matt Every (-19)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Rory McIlroy (5/1)
Tommy Fleetwood (14/1)
Bryson DeChambeau (16/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1)
Xander Schauffele (22/1)

Value Bets

Byeong-Hun An
To Win (45/1), To Place (19/2)
Daniel Berger returns to a course that he knows well.  Berger lost in a playoff here in 2015, though he has little form here since that close call. Berger’s career seemed to be in state of freefall in the last few seasons. Berger seems to have found something again in his game, with back-to-back top 10’s at the Phoenix Open and Pebble Beach. At Pebble, his stats were encouraging, finishing fifth in shots gained tee to green and seventh in the scrambling analysis. The Florida native could be primed for a huge weekend.

Dylan Frittelli
To Win (125/1), To Place (25/1)
First, it was the South Korean women dominating golf. Then it was Parasite’s turn to woo the film world.  Now it seems that the South Korean men have finally caught up to the South Korean fever. SungJae Im’s maiden victory last week could be an inspiration to Byeong-Hun An, one of the more consistent players yet to win a PGA Tour title. He will also be looking to become the 5th member of the President’s Cup side to taste victory this year. A had his best finish here last year with a 10th. He is also coming off a wonderful week at PGA National. He recovered from an opening round 76 to ultimately finish 4th.  That followed a top 30 in Mexico and a top 10 in Phoenix.

The Man to Beat

Bryson DeChambeau
To Win (16/1), To Place (7/2)
It has taken some time for the newly beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau to find his range. He himself has said that he battled to get a handle on his wedge game. But something seems to be clicking in recent weeks.  He finished in a tie for 5th at Riviera and followed that up with a brilliant runner-up finish at the WGC Mexico event. DeChambeau is also returning to an event he finished runner-up in two years ago.  DeChambeau currently sits 4th on tour in driving distance and 5th in scoring average. He looks like great value in the upper reaches of the market.    

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