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2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational

By GolfGuru - 5 years ago in PGA News

2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger Woods made the final day of the Valspar Championship more exciting last week. So, the question on the minds of many will be whether he can make the magic happen this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Held at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Bay Hill, Florida, the tournament is one where Tiger has experienced a ton of success in the past.

Of course, if Tiger can help you win this week, of course, you want to start him on your daily fantasy team. But the field also contains seven other former winners and five of the top ten golfers in the world. However, you’ll need more than Tiger to win. Who else should you pick up?

Arnold Palmer Bay Hill 2

As always, that’s a great question. But first…

How about a little information about the course and weather?

The Arnold Palmer Invitational takes place at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge whose course is 7,419 yards long and a par-72. Dick Wilson designed the original course, but it was later redesigned by Palmer.

As for the weather, the tournament is going to start out cool on Thursday (59 degrees). But it will warm up to the mid-60’s on Friday and reach the low-70’s on Saturday and Sunday. The skies are expected to be clear each day except Saturday (partly cloudy). Winds will be reasonably low Thursday through Saturday (6-8 MPH). However, they pick up on Sunday (13 MPH).

The only day that is forecast to have a chance of rain is Sunday (10 percent), but a storm appears to be coming in on Monday (80 percent chance of rain). Hopefully, it will not come early.

The Players

Marc Leishman, as last year’s champion, deserves a little consideration. But he should not be anyone’s first choice and probably not their second or third either. Yes, he won last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he has been struggling of late. He finished tied for 37th at the WGC in Mexico a couple of weeks ago (1-under). He missed the cut at the Genesis Open and finished tied or 31st at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix.

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Previous success on a course is nice as is being ranked 16th in the world. But Leishman is not playing exceptionally well right now. He could break out of it, of course. But why take that chance when there are so many better options available?

Like…

•    Tiger Woods: Anyone who doesn’t start Tiger this week is crazy. Not only does his game appear to be back after four solid rounds at the Valspar Championship, but he has had an insane amount of success at Bay Hill. He’s an eight-time winner who last won in 2013 (13-under) by two strokes over Justin Rose. To be fair, he is playing in back-to-back weeks. Can his back hold up? Can his game? We don’t know.

•    Jason Day: If he’d played recently, it would be easy to say Day comes in with the hot hand in the group. But since he last played at Pebble Beach last month, that hand isn’t really all that hot. However, while it has been awhile, the last two times he played, he was excellent. He tied for second at Pebble Beach and won the Farmers Insurance Open.  Day has won at Bay Hill (2016) and could certainly contend again.

•    Tommy Fleetwood: The No. 11 golfer in the world will be making just his second start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He tied for tenth last year, but what makes him intriguing is that he did so despite shooting an opening round 78. If he can put four good rounds together, he could win. But the problem with him can be putting four good rounds together. He did so at the Honda Classic (70, 68, 67, and 69) and finished fourth. But at the WGC in Mexico he had a slow start (72 and 71) but finished well (67 and 66) to tie for 14th.

•    Tyrell Hatton: Certainly not the most famous name of the group and somewhat of a long shot to win it (25-1), Hatton could be an inexpensive option that could really pay off. He tied for fourth last year (9-under) in his first start at Bay Hill. His last time out, the WGC in Mexico, he tied for third (15-under). However, while capable of playing well, he is not the most consistent player. Prior to the WGC in Mexico he missed the cut at the Honda Classic. Consider him your boom or bust player of the week.

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