13th Mar 2018 | Arnold Palmer Invitational
Arnold Palmer Invitational Trends
The PGA Tour makes its regular stop in Orlando to play Bay Hill. We look at the trends of past winners.
With an average winning score of -15 over the last five years, the Arnold Palmer Invitational has been playing more easily of late; previously it is one of the tougher tournaments on tour.
Bay Hill is a ‘second-shot’ course with greens difficult to hit, ranking 15th hardest for GIRs in 2011. Tee-shots aren’t quite so demanding, wide fairways giving plenty of leeway.
Matt Every, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh have all won this tournament in years where they ranked outside the top-100 on tour for driving accuracy.
Let’s look at trends of the last eleven winners for further clues:
Top-60 on tour for birdie average
Bay Hill is a tough course and players are guaranteed to make bogeys, it is whether they can compensate for these. Martin Laird led the field in birdies in 2011 as did Matt Every on his way to victory in 2015. Ten of the last eleven winners have ranked inside the top-60 on tour for birdie average.
Top-60 on tour for strokes gained tee to green
There are bogey threats on almost every hole. Avoiding them is a priority as they undo all the hard work. Nine of the last eleven winners ranked in the top-60 on tour for this metric.
Top-60 on tour for par-5 scoring average
All four of the par-5s measure under 575-yards. They are short by modern standards and can all be reached in two shots, although there is an element of risk. Ten of the last eleven winners ranked inside the top-60 on tour for par-5 scoring average.
Top-60 on tour for approaches over 200-yards
With the par-5s reachable in two, those with an excellent long game have thrived. Nine of the last eleven winners ranked inside the top-60 on tour for approach accuracy from 200+ yards. The average rank during this period was 41st on tour.
Players that fit all four trends:
Odds correct at time of publishing: 17:05 13th Mar, 2018 but subject to change