Mar 15

2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational Expert Golf Picks & Fantasy Predictions

GolfStrat’s Expert Fantasy Golf Picks
“2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational”

2013 Finish: 99th Percentile, Yahoo Fantasy Golf

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2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational

This week the PGA Tour visits Bay Hill Club and Lodge for Arnold Palmer’s Invitational. For the newer generation of golfers, of which we’re a part of, it’s important to pay the proper respect to Arnold, his amazing career, and his impact on the game. The Golf Channel has put together a 3 part series on Arnold’s entire life, so check that out once it’s released, which should happen over the coming weeks.

Bay Hill plays to about 7,381 yards and is a par 72 with four par 3s and four par 5s. This tournament has been dominated by Tiger Woods over the past several years, but due to his recent injury problems, Tiger withdrew from the field on Tuesday. Past champions include: Tiger Woods (2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000), Martin Laird (2011), Ernie Els (2010), Rod Pampling (2006), Kenny Perry (2005), and Chad Campbell (2004). Given Tiger won so many times, you have to look at the runner ups to see who has also played well here. Some notable runner-ups to Tiger include: Justin Rose (2013) and Graeme McDowell (2012).

Let’s give Arnie a big salute and thank you for what he has done for the game and hope we have a great week of golf ahead of us.

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PRELIMINARY YAHOO SPORTS FANTASY PICKS
Player
Recent Finishes
“Bay Hill” Finishes
Comments
(A) Bubba Watson (2) WGC Cadillac
(1) Northern Trust
(2) Waste Mgmt
(23) Farmers
(14) 2013
(4) 2012
(24) 2011
Bubba has played well his last three times at Bay Hill and his 2nd, 1st, 2nd in his last three four round PGA tour events can’t be beat. Ignoring Tiger Woods, you can’t beat Bubba’s credentials this week.
(A) Adam Scott (25) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(8) Sony Open
(6) Hyundai TOC
(MC) 2009
(MC) 2006
(30) 2005
(3) 2004
(25) 2003
Tiger Woods withdrew on Tuesday, so the next man up is Adam Scott. Our only problem with Adam is that he hasn’t played at Bay Hill the last 4 years and missed the cut in 2009; however he did have some quality finishes in the early 2000s at Bay Hill. Did he just avoid the tournament due to Tiger’s dominance? Not this year. Others to consider include: #3 Patrick Reed, #4 Henrik Stenson, #5 Gary Woodland, #6 Ryan Moore, #7 Lee Westwood, #8 Rickie Fowler, #9 Russell Henley, #10 Daniel Summerhays
(B) Zach Johnson (16) WGC Cadillac
(33) Honda
(3) Humana
(8) Sony Open
(34) 2013
(11) 2012
(47) 2011
(MC) 2010
(3) 2009
Zach has cooled off after his hot start to 2014, but he’s got a solid track record at Bay Hill and tops our rankings of Group B players. Given we’ve used him several times so far this year, our strategy would be to put him on the bench and see if he contends over the weekend.
(B) Justin Rose (8) Valspar
(34) WGC Cadillac
(45) Northern Trust
(2) 2013
(15) 2012
(3) 2011
(MC) 2010
(30) 2009
Justin Rose really let us know on Sunday, mostly caused by 3-5 footers that just slipped by the hole which left him on the outside looking in at Valspar. Given his 3 top 15s at Bay Hill over the past 3 years and the fact that his game is slowly rounding into shape heading into the Masters in a few weeks, we’ll put him in our lineup this week.
(B) Keegan Bradley (50) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(20) Northern Trust
(MC) Waste Mgmt
(16) Farmers
(3) 2013
(MC) 2011
Keegan hasn’t been contending recently, and his game is hard to predict, but we’re hoping that his positive experience last year at Bay Hill will give him some confidence. He also tends to play better at tougher golf courses.
(B) Hunter Mahan (9) WGC Cadillac
(52) Northern Trust
(6) Pebble Beach
(4) Waste Mgmt
(21) 2013
(42) 2012
(38) 2011
(25) 2010
(22) 2009
Hunter has played well this season with only a few exceptions. He should content this week and if the wind kicks up, he’ll have a chance to win (similar to Pebble Beach earlier this year). His track record at Bay Hill shows consistency but lacks chances at victory. Others to consider include: #5 Matt Every, #6 David Hearn, #7 Brian Harman, #8 Bryce Molder, #9 Chris Kirk, #10 Robert Garrigus
(C) Graeme McDowell (9) WGC Cadillac
(46) Honda
(7) Pebble Beach
(45) 2013
(2) 2012
(MC) 2011
(MC) 2010
(40) 2009
Grame had a close call in 2012 and would have won had it not been for Tiger Woods. He’s having a decent start to 2014 and should be considered the top Group C player this week.
(C) Kevin Na (2) Valspar
(MC) Northern Trust
(4) Pebble Beach
(19) Waste Mgmt
(4) 2012
(30) 2011
(2) 2010
(11) 2009
Kevin came really close at Valspar and showed he could withstand the pressure on a Sunday. Over the past 5 years, we rank him #7 out of all the participants at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We have him tied in our rankings with Charl Schwartzel but will take Kevin due to his better recent play and better track record at Bay Hill. Others to consider: #T2 Charl Schwartzel, #4 John Senden, #5 Chris Stroud, #6 Harris English, #7 George McNeill, #8 Chasson Hadley, #9 Jamie Donaldson, #10 Francesco Molinari


BAY HILL BETTING ODDS / SPREAD
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Tiger Woods (6/1) – withdrew on Tuesday Jason Day (25/1) Keegan Bradley (28/1) Jamie Donaldson (50/1) Charles Howell III (66/1)
Adam Scott (16/1) Zach Johnson (25/1) Patrick Reed (33/1) Kevin Na (50/1) Ian Poulter (66/1)
Bubba Watson (16/1) Charl Schwartzel (28/1) Harris English (35/1) Ryan Moore (50/1) Lee Westwood (66/1)
Justin Rose (16/1) Henrik Stenson (28/1) Rickie Fowler (40/1) Will MacKenzie (50/1) Brandt Snedeker (80/1)
Graeme McDowell (25/1) Hunter Mahan (28/1) Gary Woodland (50/1) Matt Every (66/1) Odds by Skybet



PGATOUR.com FANTASY GOLF PREDICTIONS
Player
Recent Finishes
“Bay Hill” Finishes
Bubba Watson (2) WGC Cadillac
(1) Northern Trust
(2) Waste Mgmt
(23) Farmers
(14) 2013
(4) 2012
(24) 2011
Adam Scott (25) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(8) Sony Open
(6) Hyundai TOC
(MC) 2009
(MC) 2006
(30) 2005
(3) 2004
(25) 2003
Zach Johnson (16) WGC Cadillac
(33) Honda
(3) Humana
(8) Sony Open
(34) 2013
(11) 2012
(47) 2011
(MC) 2010
(3) 2009
Justin Rose (8) Valspar
(34) WGC Cadillac
(45) Northern Trust
(2) 2013
(15) 2012
(3) 2011
(MC) 2010
(30) 2009


GOLF CHANNEL EXPERT PREDICTIONS
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Arnold Palmer Invitational
Starter
Someone to Consider
Group 1
#1 Bubba Watson – Tiger Woods withdrew on Tuesday #2 Zach Johnson, #3 Adam Scott
Group 2
#1 Patrick Reed #2 Keegan Bradley, #3 Hunter Mahan
Group 3
#1 Matt Every #2 George McNeill, #3 David Hearn, #4 Will MacKenzie, #5 Cameron Tringale
Group 4
#1 Seung-Yul Noh #2 Stuart Appleby, #3 Bill Hurley III, #4 Camilo Villegas, #5 Aaron Baddeley

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