PGA Best Bets: 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational – Outright Winners & Finishing Positions

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    The PGA Tour will return to Orlando, FL for the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational. As always, the event will take place at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. The 7,381 yard track is often considered the toughest non-major course on the PGA Tour schedule. With high winds expected over the weekend combined with the biggest stars in the world of golf, this week certainly feels like a major. Last years champion Scottie Scheffler (+750) will look to defend his title against the red hot Jon Rahm (+700) and Rory McIlroy (+850). Other top contenders by listed odds are Colin Morikawa (+1600), Will Zalatoris (+2000) and Max Homa (+2000).

    Outright Winners

    Will Zalatoris (+2000) – Zalatoris finally got back to his typical ways two weeks ago after his return from back injury with a T4 finish at Riviera. He was labeled as one of the best ball strikers on tour very early in his young career, and ball striking is a necessity at Bay Hill. He has the reputation of being a “bad” putter because of his stroke from inside 5 feet, but that’s not the case. Statistically, Zalatoris is an above average putter on tour. Mediocre T38 last year, but a T10 finish in 2021.

    Matt Fitzpatrick (+3600) – This would be Fitzpatricks first win on the PGA Tour, and only his second win in the states behind his US Open victory last season. Fitzpatrick is one of the best players in the world in tough conditions, which we will undoubtedly see this week at Bay Hill. He’s coming off 4 consecutive Top 10 finishes which includes a runner-up in 2019. This just seems like the week for Fitz.

    Hideki Matsuyama (+6600)
    – You give me Hideki at 66-1 in anything golf related and I will take it without hesitation. Since the wrist injury several months ago, Hideki has failed to find his old form. However, we saw glimpses at Farmers Insurance Open as he secured his first Top 10 finish of the season. He’s coming off back to back Top 20 finishes at Bay Hill as well. Not my favorite pick this week but too good of a price to ignore.

    Finishing Positions

    Top 5 Finishes

    Max Homa (+450) – If it wasn’t for the name Jon Rahm, Homa would be in the conversation for hottest golfer on the planet with Scottie and Rory. Combine that with a T17, T10 and T24 finish in his 3 starts at Bay Hill, and Max should be in decent shape this week.

    Viktor Hovland (+460) – Hasn’t been in great form this season but still amongst the most talented players on Tour. Was in the lead on Sunday last season before some late bogeys in tough conditions bumped him back to a T2 finish. Hovland could easily be in contention again this year.

    Top 10 Finishes

    Scottie Scheffler (+105) – Not quite a max play because the price isn’t good, but as close as we get to a lock in this game. Last year’s winner and coming off a big title defense at WMPO. Scottie is another guy who excels in tough conditions so I’d be surprised if he doesn’t hang around long enough to find himself inside the Top 10.

    Sungjae Im (+310) – I just can’t get away from Sungjae it seems, but it’s a course that fits his style and he’s had success at. He’s never won the event but he had back to back Top 5 finishes in 2019 and 2020. 3-1 is worth the ticket.

    Sahith Theegala (+410) – This is a complete bias play but it’s decent value given the circumstances. Missed the cut in his first appearance here as a rookie last season. However, he’s coming off an impressive T6 at Riviera 2 weeks ago. Coming back for his second go at Bay Hill, Theegs should have some course knowledge to add to his bag.

    Top 20 Finishes

    Sam Burns (+185) – Top 10 last year at Bay Hill. Hasn’t been on his A-game this season either, but in tough conditions he’s another guy I have faith in.

    Chris Kirk (+210) – Coming off his first victory since taking some time off a few years ago, Kirk should be firing on all cylinders this week. Due to the recent streak of success and his success at Bay Hill, Kirk earns the max play ticket this week.

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