2nd Mar 2021 | 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.
Last year Bay Hill played tough with a winning score of 4-under; a marked change considering the Arnold Palmer Invitational had been playing more easily in previous renewals. The wind is forecast to get up on Sunday, therefore anything approaching double-digits under par should be enough.
Bay Hill is a ‘second-shot’ course with greens difficult to hit. 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 thirteen 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. Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton ranked second on tour for birdie average. 12 of the last 14 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. 11 of the last 14 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. 11 of the last 14 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. 11 of the last 14 winners ranked inside the top-60 on tour for approach accuracy from 200+ yards.
Players that fit all four trends:
Odds correct at time of publishing: 04:26 2nd Mar, 2021 but subject to change