Golf Rankings for Arnold Palmer Invitational
Note: Bubba Watson withdrew on Friday evening so check your lineups and ensure he isn't active. We say our hello again to Florida with the Arnold Palmer Invitational played at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando. This 7,419 yard par 72 course has hosted the championship for years, but was redesigned in 2009 and moved to par 72 from par 71 at that time. This course used to be one of, if not the, hardest course on the Florida swing. However, as other courses have been revamped, it has begun to move back a bit. It's still a challenging track, but gives a little respite from the last two courses. We should have good weather this week with temps in the mid-80s until Sunday. On Sunday, rain looks to be in the forecast with near certainty so we may see a more aggressive "Moving Day" then normal on Saturday. Rory McIlroy tees it up for the first time at Arnold's tourney so we have the #1 golfer in the world as we have the top 5 in OWGR here this week. Beyond that, the field is smaller than usual with only 120 entrants. However, the same cut rules still apply so a larger percentage of the field will make the cut.
Henrik Stenson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #7
Stenson has back to back fourth place finishes and has finished within the top 15 in four straight tournaments. He has three straight top 15 finishes at Bay Hill including back to back top 10s. He had three rounds under 70 last year at Arnie's shindig with only his Saturday 73 tarnishing what could have been a win for Stenson. He also happens to live in Orlando so he knows the track well.
Bubba Watson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #40
Watson withdrew on Friday evening after the unexpected death of a childhood friend. Make sure to take him out of your lineup everywhere. Our thoughts are with Watson and his friend's family.
Watson withdrew last year (due to allergies), but prior to that had three straight top 25 finishes (T24, T4 and T14) at Bay Hill. His worst finish in 2015 is a T14 at the Northern Trust Open. The last time he finished outside the top 30 was at the PGA back in August of 2014. He’s in top form, has a game for this course and has succeeded here in the past. Play him with confidence.
Kevin Na [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #64
Na closed out the Valspar with a blistering 5-under 66 on Sunday. He finished T14 last year with a steady four rounds of 70-71-71-71. He’s made five of seven cuts here and his last five appearances (over six years) were T11, T2, T30, T4, and his T14 last year. He’s a must own in all formats.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #14
Scott blistered Bay Hill with an opening round 62 last year. He faltered badly on Sunday to a 76 to give the tournament away. Prior to his appearance last year, he last teed it up here in 2009 when he missed the cut. He’s coming in off a missed cut so he should be focused.
J.B. Holmes [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #50
Holmes has been on fire over his last four appearances with two second place finishes, a T10 and a T22. He finished T10 here last year after stumbling on the weekend to a 72-73 finish. He’s in better form and should be a lock the leader board on Sunday.
Rory McIlroy [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #3
McIlroy makes his first appearance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He took last week off, but was a T9 at the Cadillac. He righted the ship after his first missed cut since the Nixon administration (well, not quite that long ago). He’s are premium player with no course history so you’re spending based on talent.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
Day’s record here isn’t great with a T25 in 2010 being his best finish. He’s off his worst finish of 2015 (T31 at the Cadillac) which isn’t so terrible. He currently sits number one in par 4 scoring and eighth in driving distance so he should be able to bounce back on this course.
Ian Poulter [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #84
Poulter has finished no lower than T21 in the last four years here including a solo third in 2012. He held the lead at the Honda three weeks ago and closed out last week’s Valspar with a 69 (tied for low round of the day). He seems to find one or two holes per round that ruin his entire card. He needs to avoid that to be able to live up to his billing – this could be the week on course he’s played well as of late.
Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #120
Back to back top three finishes here means you have to talk about Keegan Bradley. However, we haven’t seen a lot of leader board finishes from a player who is considered a premium player. He made the cut his last time out at the Cadillac, but ended up T38 and had more bogeys than birdies. He’s a bomber so you are counting on him out driving his competitors and hoping his recent course history takes over.
Jason Kokrak [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #96
Kokrak finished fourth here last year and missed the cut in his only other trip here (2012). He’s 25th in par four scoring this year (T22 last year), 38th in scrambling (59th last year) and 62nd in strokes gained: putting (54th last year) so he has a profile that should succeed here.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #32
Sneds has made six of eight cuts at Bay Hill over his career. He’s coming off his best finish at this tournament last year (T8). He’s been up and down since his win at Pebble Beach with a 74th place finish at the NTO, then T17 at the Cadillac and a T53 last week.
Harris English [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #105
English is two for three in cuts made here with his best finish coming last year (T14). He’s an excellent player in all phases of the game as evidenced by his current standing (T13) in ball striking. He responded from missing the cut at the Honda to post a T10 at the Valspar last week including the low round on Sunday of 65. He ticks nearly every statistical box you’d want this week.