Golf Bets For This Week – The 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Sung-jae Im is 21 years old and lives in hotels. The South Korean golfer has played in almost every single PGA Tour event since joining last year as a full time member. In that time he has put together an incredible streak of results, hardly missing a cut and frequently appearing in the top 10 on Sunday. He was the star for the World Team in the Presidents Cup, yet Sung-jae Im is still relatively obscure to non-hardcore golf fans. Maybe not for long. With a win at the Honda Classic, this feels like it could be the beginning of Im-sanity.
Yes, we see young players win all the time on the PGA Tour and then fade into obscurity. Keith Mitchell, for example, won the Honda last year and now you might want him on your scramble team. Remember last week when i thought Mitchell could win? That was a bad idea and i should have spent that $10 on a Sung-Jae Im Masters Bet. Im is now +6600 to win the Masters at DraftKings Sportsbook.
This Week the PGA Tour stops at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Arnie’s tournament, formerly called the Bay Hill Invitational, has a long history and an impressive list of notable winners. Francesco Molinari won last year, and it was Rory Mcllroy who won in 2018. Marc Leishman and Jason Day won the prior years, and Tiger Woods has an incredible 8 wins at Bay Hill. Amazingly, Matt Every won the API back to back in 2014 and 2015.
The weather in Orlando will likely be a factor this week. Currently, the forecast calls for showers and strong winds on Thursday and Friday. Winds could exceed 20mph on both days. It is likely that strong winds will hang around for the weekend as well.
Key stats for this week:
- The Bay Hill Club is a par 72. The course measures 7.454 yards with Bermuda greens.
- Long Par 3 Scoring (200+ yards). There are four of them at Bay Hill.
- Strokes Gained Par 5s
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Driving Accuracy (more important than distance at this event).
- Bermuda Putting History
- Sand Saves
Bay Hill Picks – Head to Head Matchups
Ian Poulter vs Kevin Na – Matchup #1
Na has alternated three top 20s with two missed cuts over his last 5 events. We last saw him grab a ninth place finish at WGC Mexico. Na was very good tee to green at WGC and gained multiple shots on approach and with his putter. He can win these events, but he misses more cuts than other players with his skills. Both Na and Ian Poulter have solid history at API. Na had finishes of 4th, 14th and 6th from 2012 – 2015. However his recent history at Bay Hill has not been as good, with missed cuts sandwiching a 36th place finish in 2018. I would not be surprised if his missed cut/top 20 streak continues this week, and Na ends up not hanging around for the weekend.
Poulter has made the cut every year since 2012 and has never finished worse than 46th. He was in it last week at the Honda and I think he will find his way into the top 20 or 30 again this week. Not playing WGC Mexico, then warming up near home at PGA National should set Poulter up for success this week. Now all he has to do is drive one of his many cars up to Orlando and finish ahead of Kevin Na. I’ll take Ian Poulter for -106 at UniBet Sportsbook New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Jason Day vs Brooks Koepka – Matchup #2
I picked Brooks Koepka as a potential winner last week. It only took a few holes of observing his game to see that the injury really messed him up. He just is not the same imposing bully right now. He probably will be again. But right now Bryson Dechambeau, not Brooks, is the one dead lifting his way to tour domination. I saw nothing last week to make me think that things will go better for Koepka at Bay Hill.
It’s surprising that the Florida man has such poor history at Arnie’s event. Brooks missed the API cut in 2019, 2017 and 2015. He didn’t play here in 2018 or 2016 and finished 26th in 2014. Jason Day doesn’t win any more, but he ranks 5th in the field for all-time strokes gained at Bay Hill. He has made the cut every year except for when his back injury forced him to withdraw from the API. The back looks better. Let’s take the healthier golfer with the better game for this course. Jason Day is the pick at +100.
Byeong Hun An vs Colin Morikawa – Matchup #3
Morikawa made his API debut in 2018 before joining the PGA Tour full time. He made the cut and finished T64. This was impressive and Colin has been impressive since, with a win and several top tens. However, Ben An is on fire right now. Sung-Jae Im was so good last week that An’s brilliance was lost in the coverage at Honda. He finished 4th gaining over 9 shots tee-to-green and more than 5 shots with his short game around the greens.
An also finished T10 and T14 at Bay Hill over his last two attempts. Comparing key stats between these two players in 2020 points straight to An in every stat that matters. He’s been superior to Morikawa over the last 36 rounds in long par-3 efficiency, proximity on 200+ approach shots, strokes gained approach, around the greens, ball striking , sand saves, scrambling and greens in regulation. Byeong Hun An -110 over Colin Morikawa is my favorite PGA pick for this week.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks – Top Finishers at Bay Hill
Top 10 Finishers – Honda Classic
- Adam Scott Top 10 (+225): The windy conditions could work in Scott’s favor this week. He ranks second in the field for strokes gained in windy conditions. Also third in both strokes gained approach and tee to green game in wind. Scott’s putter is rounding back into the form it was in back in 2014 when he finished 3rd at Bay Hill. So, he should be able to keep himself in the mix on Sunday.
- Byeong Hun An Top 10 (+450): An’s amazing run at the Honda last week was overshadowed by Im’s first win. In fact, An played equal golf to Im in all important stat categories except approach. If you take off the first round, in which An shot 75, he would have likely been in a position to win at the end of the day on Sunday. An is another player who is trending to win sooner than later, but I’m not picking him to do so until he stops having the inevitable one round in the 70s. That isn’t going to work to win in a field this strong, but a great long approach and par three player like An will be in the mix at Bay Hill.
- Sung Kang Top 10 (+1400): He is a very talented long approach player and gets hot with the putter at times. Kang was solid across the board at Bay Hill last year as he found his way into the top ten with a 9th place finish. He is only a few weeks removed from a great putting and approach performance while finishing 2nd at Riviera. Fourteen to one is a good value for a player like Sung who is in the form to repeat or even outdo last year’s performance. A $10 bet would win $140 at Unibet Sportsbook New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Top 20 Finishers – Honda Classic
- Henrik Stenson Top 20 (+180): Stenson is first in the field in strokes gained approach over the last 50 rounds. He has cracked the top 20 in each of his last two API starts and gained shots putting both times. Stenson is not known as a great putter, but he’s pretty much a lock for a top 20 at the courses where he does roll it well.
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello Top 20 (+350): Rafa was third in his debut last year at Bay Hill. He was great off the tee and gained almost 6 shots with the putter. He must have enjoyed the course, because he’s back again this year. Rafa seemed to warm up for this event with good finishes at the Genesis and AT&T last year. He was better at both events this year. A top 20 should be a breeze for RCB and I won’t rule out a top-ten play on him for +750.
The 2020 Bay Hill Arnold Palmer Invitational – Bets On Potential Winners
Tiger Woods won at Bay Hill eight times from 2000 to 2013. However, Tiger is skipping the event this year to recover as he focuses on major season. There are other elite players with impressive track records here. Especially Rory Mcllroy. As usual though, it’s the number on Rory that will keep me from investing in him. The Vegas odds on Rory are now so out of control that there is no reason not to wait and live bet on him during the tournament if he’s in contention.
This is an event that is often won by an elite player, and so my potential winners are both from near the top of the board. The API just isn’t a week for a long shot to win.
Bryson Dechambeau (+1600)
The ‘scientist’ is looking swole and determined to dominate golf right now. He’s coming into the API with a chip on his shoulder from losing the WGC Mexico two weeks ago when he seemed to have the event won. Bryson didn’t play well at the API last year but he finished second here in 2018. Over his last 50 rounds, Dechambeau ranks 7th in the field in approach shots of 200+ in windy conditions as well as on long par 3s of over 225 yards in the wind. In fact, Bryson has become a surprisingly good wind player in general and gusts are expected to be an issue this weekend.
Bryson has also shown flashes of drastic improvement with his putting this year, and he has always putted well at Bay Hill. Looking at all rounds played on the course, Dechambeau ranks 9th in strokes gained putting here and has gained about 4 shots on the greens in each of his three API starts. However, what could really put Bryson over the top to win this week is his ability to hit good drives (ranks 5th over the last 36 rounds) and to save shots from the bunkers. There are 84 bunkers on the course and Bryson ranks 6th in the field right now in sand saves over his last 36 rounds. I’ll back this up with a Top 10 bet on Bryson for +200 at UniBet Sportsbook New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Sung-Jae Im (+2000)
The Im-plosion is underway. Sungjae stormed to a victory last week and he might just have the game to keep it going. This was no fluke win, it’s been a process of persistence for the 21 year old South Korean to get his first win. Incredibly, he improved from a 51st place finish at the Honda in 2019. Sungjae could have won the API in his debut last year if he had been just a little better off the tee.
Im comes into Bay Hill on what I think is the beginning of something special, and he has gained shots off the tee in eight out his last ten events. Also let’s consider Im’s approach numbers. He gained 6.6 shots on the field for a 3rd place finish at the API last year, and gained 6.2 last week while winning. Then there is his Bermuda putting. Im ranks 10th in the field on Bermuda over the last 36 rounds. If he keeps hitting it close and rolling it on these surfaces like he did last weekend, Bay Hill could actually be a cake walk for Sungjae compared to PGA National. So, I will also have a bet on Im to finish in the top-20 for what seems like easy even money (+100).
My PGA Picks from Last Week at The Honda Classic
Here are how my PGA betting picks did last week at the Honda Classic. If you bet $10 on each of these 12 picks, you would have won approximately $65. I guess we all should have seen Im coming.
- Niemann to beat Vegas: Lost -120
- Im to beat Hovland: Won -110
- An to beat Lowry: Won -110
- Billy Horschel Top 10: Lost +300
- Harris English To 10: Lost +650
- SunJae Im Top 20: Won +150
- Russell Henley Top 10: Won +700
- Russell Henley Top 20: Won +300
- Bud Cauley Top 20: Lost +250
- Brooks Koepka to Win: Lost +1200
- Justin Rose to Win: Lost +2500
- Keith Mitchell to Win: Lost +10000
Honda Classic FAQ
The PGA Tour is at Bay Hill Golf Club in Orlando FL, for the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Yes. There is a cut after 36 holes at the API.
Par at Bay Hill is 72.
Francesco Molinari won at Bay Hill in 2019.
Rory Mcllroy was the 2018 champion at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
No. Rickie Fowler has never won this event.
No. Tiger Woods is not in the field for the 2020 API at Bay Hill Golf Club.
The greens at the API are Bermuda grass.
Tiger Woods has an incredible 8 victories at Bay Hill so-far in his career. Woods is skipping the 2020 API.
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