The famed Bay Hill course will host the PGA Tour's third elevated event in the last month this week. Defending champion Scottie Scheffler headlines a field that includes all the top players on the tour for Arnold Palmer's event. That brings me to my 2023 PGA DFS: Arnold Palmer Invitational DraftKings Preview.
When I think of Bay Hill, I don’t only think of Arnie, but Tiger too. He had 8 wins in 14 years, including 4 in a row from 2000, and this comeback from 5 shots back entering the final round in 2009. His dominance there was another level! 🔥@TigerWoods pic.twitter.com/MiG8ZMtJUd
— Flushing It (@flushingitgolf) February 27, 2023
Before I get into this event I want to highlight the success we had on our Fantasy Six Pack YouTube show "Two off the Tee" last week. In last week's episode we had Chris Kirk at 28-1 to win and Ben Martin at 11-1 to top 10 as two of our plays that won. If you are reading this column and not watching the show, you should. Be sure to check out this week's episode on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube channel.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has always been a big event on the PGA Tour due to the legacy of its host and icon, Arnold Palmer. This year even more so with the event being designated an elevated event and with the 20 million dollar prize purse that comes with it. Several of the top players in the world are in the field for the first time in years.
Like the Honda last week, this event plays tough with long rough, fast greens and higher than normal scores for a standard PGA Tour event. The last six winners finished top 15 at the previous year's event and the list of winners in the last decade is a who's who of superstars on the PGA Tour.
You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going!
2023 PGA DFS: Arnold Palmer Invitational DraftKings Preview
The Venue (Bay Hill)
For the third consecutive week, par will be a good score on a majority of holes at Bay Hill. The course plays at over 7400 yards and will require the field to hit many approaches from 200+ yards into the greens. The players will need to hit fairways as Bay Hill features some of the thickest rough on tour.
You should target players who have distance, a good long iron game, and are great around and on firm and fast greens. In the last six years, only one player has shot all four rounds in the sixties at this event. You should expect the players to have their patience tested over four tough days of golf.
The wind could have a huge impact on the score and difficulty of this venue. The median score balloons to around five over par when the winds are up here. It should be no surprise that this has led to a steady trend of international players finding success here, due to them being more comfortable in conditions exposed to the elements.
- Quail Hollow
- PGA National
- Muirfield Village
- Driving Distance/ SG Off The Tee
- SG Approach
- SG Around the Greens
- Bogey Avoidance
- Par 3s 200+ yards
- Par 4s 450-500 yards
- SG Tee to Green (Difficult Scoring Conditions)
- SG Putting(Bermuda/Fast Bermuda)
My 2023 PGA DFS: Arnold Palmer Invitational DraftKings Preview (Lineup)
Max Homa ($9,700)
Highest % winning trends for the Arnold Palmer Invitational #APInv
Five players fit all nine trends...
Keep in mind that a bunch of elite players have rarely played this event pic.twitter.com/JTiJGviWZ8
— Ron Klos (@PGASplits101) February 28, 2023
I didn't select any of the top three players in the world to anchor my lineup this week. You can make a strong case for McIlroy, Scheffler, or Rahm, but I feel you are getting Homa at a discount at this price.
Homa has finished in the top 3 in three of his last four PGA events. He has two wins since September and plays difficult courses really well. He's finished in the top 25 at this event in all three of his starts here. I like saving at least $900 on DraftKings by using Homa over the three players I mentioned above.
Another option in this price range: Rory McIlroy $10,600
Xander Schauffle ($9,200)
No matter what your physical limitation might be, you can always find some extra yardage if you know where to look.https://t.co/kkcIqhoIHU
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) February 20, 2023
Xander is destined to win this event. He has plenty of length off the tee, is a great long iron player, and has a superb short game. Since July of last year, Xander has finished inside the Top 40 in every event he's played. He is also second on tour in active consecutive cuts made at 17, trailing only Jon Rahm.
I like Xander a lot this week and plan on using him on my betting board. Be sure to check out our latest episode of Two off the Tee to hear more about why.
Another option in this price range: Sungjae Im $8,900
Tyrrell Hatton ($8,300)
Doing my research for next weeks @ArnoldPalmer and Tyrrell Hatton has some insane course history at Bay Hill
Winner in 20’. Runner up last year. 4th in 17’
6/6 on cuts with 5 finishes of 29 or better
— betsbystevie (@betsbystevie) February 25, 2023
My cohost on the Two off the Tee Allen Sandlidge has dubbed Tyrrell Hatton the cheaper version of Jon Rahm on DraftKings. Especially when you are looking for a ball striker for tough courses and he has a point.
Hatton is one of the best on tour playing tough venues. He has a stellar track record at this event including a win. Hatton is a player who rarely shoots a high number, something that can really help you excel at Bay Hill. On the season he has shot 71 or better in 14 of his 16 rounds, shooting 72 in the other two rounds.
Chris Kirk ($7,700)
Chris Kirk has been open about his battle with alcohol. Took an indefinite leave in May 2019 to get help. Said he got control of his life — and his game has followed. Really cool to see it rewarded with a win.
"I'm so grateful for my sobriety. I'm so grateful for my family." pic.twitter.com/Rrd5uNbdee
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) February 26, 2023
Kirk will be a popular pick this week for DraftKings and betting boards, but for very good reasons. He has finished top 3 in three of his four events this season. That includes his win last week at The Honda, his first win on tour in eight years, and first since overcoming his alcohol addiction.
It's hard to not root for a guy who has been thru dark times and came out the other side better for it. Kirk has an incredible record at Bay Hill. He's finished no worse than 15th in his last four starts here. Including back-to-back top 10s. A reminder that the last six winners finished top 15 in their previous start at this event.
Another option in this price range: Keith Mitchell $8,000
Rickie Fowler ($7,700)
RICKIE FOWLER HOLE-IN-ONE ON THE 7TH AT THE @WMPHOENIXOPEN! 🔥
📺: Golf Channel and @peacock pic.twitter.com/t2OKHgs5qL
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) February 12, 2023
Would you believe me if I said Rickie Fowler had three consecutive top 20s on tour? Two of those events were elevated events featuring all the top players on the PGA Tour. Fowler who had become an afterthought in the last four years on tour seems to be on his way back to becoming one of the top golfers in the world.
Before Fowler's on-the-course struggles, he consistently finished in the top 30 at this event including a T3 in 2013. Even with Fowler's recent struggles he has two top 20s in his last four trips to Bay Hill. I think Fowler will end up getting a win this season. I am not sure if this is the week, but I do expect him to be in contention for a fourth straight event come Sunday.
Christian Bezuidenhout ($7,100)
The South African is probably going to be overlooked this week. Since January his best finish on the PGA Tour is 42nd in three starts. However, he has an incredible track record at Arnie's event. He's finished inside the top 20 in all three starts at Bay Hill.
In those three starts, he's gained over 20 total strokes on the field. He is a player who thrives in windy conditions and plays on difficult courses. He will be in a majority of my lineups this week at his $7,100 price tag and will include him on several of my prop bets this week as well.
Another option in this price range: Adam Svensson $6800
Be sure to check out the rest of our golf content, including my show Two off the Tee on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel Tuesday night. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays.