2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds, course history, players to watch and picks to win
We’re back at The King’s place for the second leg of the Florida swing.
The 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando is next up on the PGA Tour schedule, the third designated event in four weeks.
World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler is back to defend his title while No. 1 Jon Rahm is looking for his fourth win of 2023. Rory McIlroy, No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking and the same in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, has finished inside the top 13 at Bay Hill in seven of the last eight seasons including a win in 2018.
Overall, 23 of the game’s best 25 players will tee it up come Thursday.
Bay Hill Club and Lodge | Par 72 | 7,466 yards
Course comparisons (according to Data Golf): 1. Annadale GC, 2. PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament Course), 3. TPC Scottsdale
A tee box on the range is reserved containing a golf bag and umbrella for Arnold Palmer during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Bay Hill Club & Lodge – Course History for the #APInv
Includes AVG finish position and SG per rd since 2015
According to @DataGolf, course history at Bay Hill is the 4th most predictive on Tour pic.twitter.com/xAHnI40RYl
— Ron Klos (@PGASplits101) February 27, 2023
Last week (Honda Classic)
Shane Lowry talks to his caddy on the seventh tee during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Forgettable week in Palm Beach Gardens. Two of our picks missed the cut while Shane Lowry had a respectful T-5 performance.
On to Bay Hill.
If you’re interested in my plays along with more coverage every week, find my Twitter here: @rileyhamel_
Rory McIlroy (+1000)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates after making his birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented By MasterCard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 18, 2018, in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
At the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year I played the hits. Jason Day, Will Zalatoris, and a few other guys that often reside on my betting card, including Max Homa.
It paid off.
We’re doing the same this week at Bay Hill, starting with Rory McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman hasn’t had his best stuff in the states so far in ’23, tying for 32nd in Phoenix and 29th in LA. Despite the disappointing week at Riviera, McIlroy was ninth in SG: Tee to Green. What killed him was the flat stick, coming in third to last in SG: Putting.
He should be able to turn it around on the greens at Bay Hill as he returns to Bermuda surfaces. He’ll hit it good enough to get into contention so if the putter heats up, watch out for world No. 3.
Will Zalatoris (+2200)
Will Zalatoris hits his drive on the 10th hole during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
This will be a big-time public play, which makes me nervous, but I like Willy Z coming off a great final round at Riviera (solo fourth).
Zalatoris didn’t have a notable week here in 2022, tying for 38th, but he tied for 10th back in ’21.
The API is a tournament Zalatoris will win at some point in his career and it might just be this week.
Jason Day (+3300)
Jason Day plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during round two at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Day hasn’t finished outside the top 20 in 2023 (four starts), including three straight top 10s.
Day tied for 31st in his last trip to Bay Hill (2021) and is a past champion (2016). Overall, the Aussie has five top 25s in nine appearances at the API.
It’s time for Day to get back to his winning ways.