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JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview & Picks for the Arnold Palmer Invitational 2019


  • JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview & Picks for the Arnold Palmer Invitational 2019


    “Your hometown is not where you’re from, it’s who you are.” – Arnold Palmer


    Last Tournament Brief Recap - Honda Classic 2019

    My Picks
    Golfer Position DK Pts Value (Pt/$)*1000
    L.Glover T4 78.5 8.9
    S.Garcia T9 69.5 7.0
    G.Woodland T36 66.5 6.9
    G.McDowell T82/MDF 29.0 3.8
    CT Pan T102/MC 16.0 2.1
    E.Grillo T119/MC 21.0 2.3

    Cumulative Picks (18-19 Season) - Tournaments - 11, #Picks - 66, Winner - 2, Top 5 - 13 (19.70%), Top 10 - 19 (28.79%), Top 25 - 32 (48.48%), Made Cut - 52 (78.79%).

    The Course - PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    This week the PGA Tour stops in Orlando, FL at Arnold Palmer's iconic Bay Hill Club & Lodge, and it has served as the host of the Arnold Palmer Invitational for decades. However, Arnold Palmer made some drastic renovations in 2009 to Dick Wilson’s original 1961 design, and so it will be only pertinent to pay attention to data from 2010 and on. Bay Hill is a par-72, 7419 yard course with 4 par 3s and 4 par 5s.

    Hole breakdown is as follows:
    Par 3 4
    Par 4 <400 2
    Par 4 400-450 3
    Par 4 450-500 5
    Par 4 >500 0
    Par 5 4
    Total 18

    Course Data (2018)

    Course Data by Par (2018)

    Course Stats
    • Par 72
    • 7,381 yards
    • Architects - Dick Wilson & Joe Lee (1961), Arnold Palmer (2009)
    • Greens - 6,500 sq. ft. (average greens), TifEagle Bermudagrass (Stimpmeter 12.0-12.5, fast)
    • Tees, Fairways & Rough - Bermuda w/Ryegrass Overseed
    • Difficulty (+0.023 RTP, Ranked 15th of 51 courses played in 2018, +0.890 RTP, 9th of 50 in 2017) above average
    • 105 sand bunkers
    • Water in play on half the holes

    Observed Stat Trends - 2018
    • Last year the course played nearly close to par at +0.022 strokes RTP
    • The four par 5s were the easiest holes on the course combining for -1.496 strokes RTP and an average BoB% of 45.42%
    • Only the three shorter par 4s 400 yards or shorter played under par last year. The other seven par 4s, between 400-500 yards, played over par.
    • All of the par 3s played over par as well

    Brief Tournament Information
    • Invitational event with about 120 golfers
    • Cut at 70 (plus ties). Since 2014, cut has ranged between -2 and +3 (avg. +1)
    • Winning scores since 2014 range -19 to -11 (avg. -15.6)
    • Winners since 2014 (in order: Every, Every, Day, Leishman, McIlroy)

    DK Data 2018
    • Optimal LU - 629.5 DK Pts (AVR 12.61)
    • Winning LUs
      • Qtr Jukebox - 609.0 DK Pts (AVR 12.25)
      • 10k Caddie ($5 Buy-in, SE) - 571.5 DK Pts (AVR 11.43)
      • 500k Dogleg ($33 Buy-in, ME) (100k to the 1st) - 588 DK Pts (AVR 11.76)
    • Cash Line
      • $5 Double Up (Multi-entry) Cash line - 522.0 DK Pts (AVR 10.46)

    Key Holes
    • There are many strategically placed bunkers (there are 105 of them) and water in play on half of the holes in addition to the tree-lined fairways. Because of these bunkers and doglegs, bombing is usually not a winning strategy and most golfers will go less than driver, layup and rely on their iron game and approach shots. Stenson was asked about this course in 2016. “Lot of mid-to-long irons both on par 3s and into the par 4s and also on the par 5s a lot of times you got long irons and that’s one of the strengths of my game when I’m playing well, I hit good mid-to-long irons and that’s what you got to do around here to give yourself birdie chances. It’s a good course for me in that sense.”
    • Hole 1 (par 4, 461 yards)
      • The opening hole is tough par 4, dogleg left that was the fourth toughest hole on the course last year playing +0.168 over par on average. If golfers can keep their ball in the fairway and avoid the fairway bunkers on the right of the landing areas, they will have a 150-200 yard approach shot onto a shallow green, 22 yards deep, surrounded by four deep bunkers. Par is a good score.
    • Hole 16 (par 5, 511 yards)
      • Hole 16 is the easiest hole on the course. If golfers can avoid the trees and bunkers on right and avoid out of bounds on the left, then golfers can have a chance of getting to the green in two with a long approach shot of over 200 yards. Fall short, however, golfers can lose their ball in the water in front of the green. Go long or right and golfers will find the green side bunkers. Birdies and eagles are possible here with 65.4% of shots resulting in a birdie or better. 24 of 30 eagles were scored on this hole. Golfers will need to take advantage of this hole.
    • Hole 18 (par 4, 458 yards)
      • The final hole was the 2nd most difficult hole on the course last year. The entire left side is OB while the right side of the fairway is thick rough. There is a water guarding the entire front of the long, shallow, kidney-shaped green with three deep bunkers left and behind the green. The hole played 0.216 above par last year. Par will be a good score here. The water will make for a dramatic finish come Sunday and can make or break a winning score.

    My Picks

    DK - Above 10k

    Rickie Fowler (DK $10400, FD $11500, Y $43, Odds 12/1) - Rory is an obvious play above 10k but comes with a price. And while all of the golfers are great plays (Tiger has WD), Rickie will be my guy in this range. His recent form is stellar with no signs of regression after his win a few weeks ago and a T2 finish last week. He is also on a 15 made cut streak. He has made the cut his last three starts at Bay Hill with a T29, T12, and T14. He has the all-around skills to dominate this course and should be in contention again on Sunday at likely lower ownership than Rory and Rose.

    DK - 9k

    Jason Day (DK $9900, FD $11700, Y $42, Odds 14/1) - The 9k range is a very good range and you can make an argument to fade the 10k and stack two 9k golfers. My favorite would be Day who is a former winner and has made the cut in his last six starts at Bay Hill. He has only played three events since the start of the year, but has nothing worse than a T13. He also has the skills to dominate this course and has averaged 87.83 DK points in the last three years.

    DK - 8k

    Charles Howell III (DK $8600, FD $10000, Y $36, Odds 60/1) - CHIII has not missed the cut at Bay Hill in 10 years including a best T14 last year. His current form since his win at the RSM has been solid, and he is in the midst of a 7 made cut streak with four top 14s during that span. A cash game staple and at near average salary both on DK and FD, he should be a lock for cash.

    Ian Poulter (DK $8000, FD $10100, Y $35, Odds 50/1) - Another course horse, Poulter has not missed a cut at Bay Hill in eight starts including 5 top 21s. His current form is scorching hot going T6-T3-T6-T3 in his last four starts on both tours. He has been solid T2G and hasn’t been making many mistakes avoiding big numbers.

    DK - 7k and Under

    Rafa Cabrera-Bello (DK $7500, FD $9900, Y $35, Odds 60/1) - RCB has been quietly playing well to the start of the year making three straight cuts with nothing worse than T25. On the the PGA Tour, he is in the midst of a 15 made cut streak. He hasn’t played Bay Hill before but he is an excellent ball striker and great with his putter. And he’s underpriced for his skills.

    Byeong Hun An (DK $7500, FD $9700, Y $31, Odds 75/1) - Benny An has been also playing well and making cuts (15 made cut streak). However, compared to RCB, An has played this course making all three cuts in three starts including a T14 last year, and he has averaged 69.67 DK Points over the last 3 years. He is underpriced for his salary and should be able to make value.

    Anyway, I hope that this helps you in your own process to select your golfers for this week. Please leave me any questions, comments, suggestions or any rants and touts you would like to discuss either here on, on twitter @algertorr, or on DK/FD/FDR jayalger. Good luck this week!

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