This week, the pro’s of the PGA stay in the Sunshine State of Florida for the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Arnold Palmer Invitational will take place this week from Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida. The event was originally known as the Florida Citrus Open Invitational and remained under that name from its 1st year in 1966 until 1969.
In 1970 and 1971, the professional golf event took out the “open” and simply referred to this as the Florida Citrus Invitational. In 1972, they changed the name to the Florida Citrus Open, which remained until 1979, when they changed it to the Bay Hill Citrus Classic.
The tournament was then called the Bay Hill Classic from 1980 until 1984, when it was changed to the Hertz Bay Hill Classic. It remained the Hertz Bay Hill classic from 1985 until 1988. In 1989 Nestlé took over the sponsorship and renamed the tournament the Nestlé invitational.
Bayhill parted ways with Nestlé in 1996 and Office Depot took over the corporate sponsorship. From 1996 until 1998, the tournament was known as the Bayhill invitational presented by Office Depot. In 1999 Cooper tires took over the sponsorship and remained in place until 2003 and the torn it was known as the Bayhill invitational presented by Cooper tires.
MasterCard took over the sponsorship in 2004 and remained in place until 2006 and was called Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard. MasterCard has remained the main sponsor with the only difference being in 2007 the name of the torment was changed to the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
So as you can see, there have been a ton of name changes and plenty of sponsorships with this tournament but one thing never changes and that is the quality of player that tee’s it up for this amazing invitation only tournament.
This tournament normally consists of 120 players instead of the normal 156 players that we are accustomed to seeing in PGA events. The top 70 plus ties will make the cut and play the entire weekend.
Bay Hill Club and Lodge Course Details
The Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a private golf club that is owned by Arnold Palmer, located in Orlando, Florida. Arnold Palmer once classified this course as the “Best Course in Florida”.
Mr. Palmer has owned Bay Hill Club and Lodge since 1974. The course plays as a Par 72 and is 7,419 yards in total length.
There will be plenty of scoring with the past 8 tournaments here at Bay Hill ranging from -11 to -19. Matt Every hit -19 back in 2015 and I can see some getting close to that this year as we have some really decent golfers playing this week.
Since Arnold Palmer put his name on the tournament, there have only been 2 United State Golfers to win this tournament. Those golfers were Matt Every and Tiger Woods, both of whom are multiple time winners.
There are some really nice scorable Par 5’s here but there are also some really difficult Par 3’s. All of the Par 3’s are longer than 199 yards so you’re going to want golfers that are good with the long irons. There are also 4 Par 5’s at Bay Hill but they are certainly reachable and not overly long.
The greens here at Bay Hill are made up of Bermuda Grass and the overall course ranked 9th last year in difficulty in all the courses that they played in the PGA. There are plenty of water hazards and sand bunkers at Bay Hill so accuracy will be an asset this week. Those approach shots are going to be worth their weight in gold as inaccuracy in the approach will either make or break a golfers game this week.
This week we are focusing on five attributes for our system. First and foremost, above the actual attributes, we are putting decent weight in the current form. Golfers that are in good form usually do really well here.
As we spoke of earlier, the approach shots will be very important at Bay Hill due to the water hazards and sand bunkers. We will also pay close attention to ball striking.
Driving distance isn’t as much of a concern this week but ball striking is important because of the accuracy.
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around the green
- Ball Striking
- Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
- Greens in Reg
First and foremost, so far at the date and time of this publication, there is only one golfer that has pulled out but he is one of the bigger golfers on tour. Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the tournament due to back stiffness.
Hideki Matsuyama +2000 – Hideki moved up one spot this week in the OWGR and that places him back inside the Top 20. There is no golfer on the PGA Tour that currently has more reliable numbers than Matsuyama. He is coming off a 6th place finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship and should really play well here this week. I like how he is spacing his tournaments out this year to prevent getting too tired early, as he has in years past. I think we will see Hideki continue to rise in the OWGR rankings and a win this week will certainly help that cause.
Jason Day +3300 – Typical BOOM or BUST play with Jason Day. He will either win this tournament or miss the cut. He is either on or off and that seems to be the trend with him lately. I am going to take my chances because we are getting a world class golfer with “Majors” wins under his belt, coming in at 33/1. That is a feat we rarely see so when we do, we have to put more weight into him.
Byeong Hun An +4500 – I really like what I saw last week out of An. He played well and ended up finishing in 4th place. An has played really well here at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in the past and I would expect much of the same this week after seeing him play last week.
Tyrrell Hatton +5500 – Hatton has not played as much this year as he did last year, taking some time off to focus on getting his swing right and playing less tournaments this season. He has only played in 1 tournament in 2020, finishing in 6th place at the WGC Mexico Championship. His odds of 55/1 are seriously a tremendous value, especially considering he just won 3 tournaments back at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Max Homa +6600 – My dark horse of the week will be Max Homa. Homa is 66/1 and let me tell you, you won’t find a golfer with better value on the board than Homa. He is coming off a 5th place finish at the Genesis Invitational and has been tearing it up in 2020 with a 5th, 14th, 6th, 9th, 48th and 25th place finish, in that order. He has played in 6 tournaments this year and hasn’t got his first win of the year. It could be this week!