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Arnold Palmer Invitational
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Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Par 72, 7381 Yards
This week the PGA Tour heads to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The field is smaller but still a solid 120 golfers. Tiger, who is not in the field this week, has dominated this course winning 8 times in his career. Bay Hill is another typical Florida course with sand, water and wind to protect itself. Matt Every took down last year's tournament with a -13, narrowly beating Keegan Bradley's -12. A score of -13 has won the tournament 3 years in a row and before that Martin Laird won with a -8 in 2011. The fairways and greens are tough to hit so accuracy will be important off the tee. Distance does't seem to be at a premium so I will use Total Driving this week which is a combination of Distance and Accuracy. Also, when you look at the Par 5's the longest is a 525 yards so I will be using Par 5 performance as a key stat as well. With the rough usually pretty tough here and with the amount of bunkers in play I will also consider scrambling as well. Here is a list of the stats I am looking at this week.
- Total Driving
- Strokes Gained:Tee to Green
- Par 5 Performance
Tier 1 Targets (DK Price $9000-Max)
Henrik Stenson - $12,500 (Vegas Odds – 12/1)
First on my list this week comes before Draftkings pricing is released. I am picking Henrik no matter the price this week and I don't think he will be the most expensive(Rory, bubba). Henrik has made 6/6 cuts here in his career with some nice recent finishes(2014-T5, 2013-T8, 2012-T15). His current form is also where #3 in the world should be with a solo 4th at the Valspar and a T4 at WGC. He doesn't have enough rounds in 2015 to compile stats but his 2014 stats back up his World Rank and current form.
- Total Driving - 2014(2nd)
- Scrambling - 2014(171)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2014(11)
- Par 5 Perf - 2014(91)
Hideki Matsyuma - $9,600 (Vegas Odds – 29/1)
As a stats guy, Hideki Matsyuma always seems to fall under the radar for me. He is one of the most consistent golfers on Tour and it doesn't ever seem to matter what course he plays. He has only missed 1 cut this year and has some nice finishes around it(WGC-T23, Northern Trust-T4, Waste Management-T2). Also, in 2014 he only missed 3 cuts all year not counting 2 Withdraws. This is his first trip to Bay Hill but it shouldn't be a problem given the elite numbers he has. Insert him in your lineups and fill in around him.
- Total Driving - 2014(31) 2015(2)
- Scrambling - 2014(41) 2015(39)
- SG: Tee to Green - 2014(6) 2013(3)
- Par 5 Perf - 2014(12) 2015(12)
Keegan Bradley - $9,700 (Vegas Odds – 34/1)
Keegan is not only one of my favorite golfers to watch but he also falls under all the categories I am looking at in a fantasy golfer(Stats, Course History, Current Form). He is rolling along about average so far this season(WGC-T38, Honda-MC, Northern Trust-T4, Farmers-T41, Waste Managment-T17). He has made 2/3 cuts at Bay Hill in his career with a solo 2nd here last year and a T3 in 2013. His stats also look good and back his course history here.
- Total Driving - 2014(8) 2015(20)
- Scrambling - 2014(14) 2015(123)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2014(29) 2015(12)
- par 5 Perf - 2014(56) 2015(133)
Tier 2 Targets (DK Price $6000-$8900)
Brendan Steele - $7,400 (Vegas Odds – 67/1)
I am really liking guys this week who have nice current form coming in to this tough course and Steele falls perfectly into area. He hasn't missed a cut yet this season with some nice finishes along the way(Honda-T11, Northern Trust T14, Farmers-T45, Waste Management-T26, Humana-T2). His course history(T20, cut, cut, T38) isn't going to turn heads this week but the -4 last year is a positive sign he has figured the course out to an extent. He also has great stats to back his strong start to 2015
- Total Driving - 2014(48) 2015(35)
- Scrambling - 2014(67) 2015(80)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2014(59) 2015(14)
- Par 5 Perf - 2014(28) 2015(59)
Kevin Streelman - $6,400 (Vegas Odds – 101/1)
Streelman comes in with a T40 in last weeks Valspar Championship after 2 consecutive Missed Cuts. Before that he had made 4 straight cuts to start the year. I believe is starting another streak of making cuts and helping us out in the daily game. It is not just a hunch though for this week. Streelman has a nice course history here(2013-T21 2011-T47 2010-T7 - 4/4 cuts made). He also has the stas I am looking for this week.
- Total Driving - 2014(17) 2015(20)
- Scrambling - 2014(155) 2015(58)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2014(89) 2015(33)
- Par 5 Perf - 2014(88) 2015(74)
Francesco Molinari - $7,900 (Vegas Odds – 67/1)
Molinari finished T40 at the Valspar this past week which broke the streak of 2 straight Missed cuts. Just in time to get to a course where he has succeeded i the past(2014-T5, 2013-T34). His stats to begin the 2015 season in 3/4 categories are also nice to see at this course.
- Total Driving - 2015(66)
- Scrambling - 2015(26)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2015(41)
- Par 5 Perf - 2015(153)
Vijay Singh - $6,200 (Vegas Odds – 126/1)
At 52 it's not Vijay's stats that stand out to me in making this pick. First off, it's his great start to the year and he is clearly showing everyone he still has game. Besides a MC at the Honda he posted T10 at the Valspar this past weekend, a T12 at the Northern Trust, and a T34 at Pebble Beach. Also take into account his course history here(2014-T20, 2013-T57, 2012-T24 - 20/21 cuts made) you have yourself a great value for the price. The 1 stat out of the 4 that stood out was that so far in 2015 he is 18th in SG: Tee to Green.
Tier 3 Bargain Value Pick (DK Price Sub $5000)
Alex Prugh - $4700 (Vegas Odds – 201/1)
My replacement pick this week for Hadwin is Alex Prugh. Coming into this week Prugh has missed his last two cuts at the Valspar and the Honda but I believe he is going to turn it around this week. Before the 2 MC he had a nice 3 event streak going with a T30 at the Northern Trust, T10 at Pebble and T7 at the Farmers. Prugh is a risky boom or bust pick but at this price making the cut is all we are looking for here.
- Total Driving - 2015(31)
- Scrambling - 2015(151)
- SG:Tee to Green - 2015(57)
- Par 5 Perf - 2015(3)
Another stat I noticed which makes this pick more intriguing is the fact Prugh is 12th so far in 2015 in Greens in Regulation.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.