Videos by OutKick
Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida is the site for the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational (API) teeing off Thursday, March 2nd. The API is the 4th of 20 “elevated events” in the PGA Tour 2022-23 season.
World No. 32 golfer Chris Kirk broke his 8-year PGA Tour winning drought last week by winning The Honda Classic 2023 in a playoff over Eric Cole.
Kirk’s win at last week’s Honda Classic was my loss. My 2022-23 PGA Tour balance fell to +17.51 units (u) thanks to a -5.25u performance and my 2nd straight losing event.
My whole “starting 5” bricked but my head-to-head and tournament trio bets cashed. The grading of my 2023 Honda Classic bet slip is at the bottom of this post.
Earlier this week, I introduced the opening odds for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and did a brief course breakdown of Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Heads up: DraftKings Sportsbook is offering a 33% profit boost for an Arnold Palmer Invitational 2023 3-Ball bet with a $50 maximum bet.
Previous Arnold Palmer Invitational winners
- 2022: Scottie Scheffler -5 (+2000)
- 2021: Bryson DeChambeau -11 (+1200)
- 2020: Tyrrell Hatton -4 (+5000)
- 2019: Francesco Molinari -12 (+2500)
- 2018: Rory McIlroy -18 (+1600)
The average winning score of the last five Arnold Palmer Invitationals is 10-under par, the average cut line is 3-over par and the average odds are +2500 roughly.
- Florida Swing courses.
- PGA National Champion course: The Honda Classic.
- TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach: THE PLAYERS Championship.
- Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor: Valspar Championship.
- Trump National Doral.
- Quail Hollow Club: Wells Fargo Championship.
- Torrey Pines South: Farmers Insurance Open and 2021 U.S. Open.
- Congaree Golf Club: THE CJ CUP in South Carolina.
- Memorial Park: The Houston Open.
Key stats (over the last 50 rounds aside from putting)
- Strokes Gained (SG): Approach (APP).
- SG: Ball-Striking (BS).
- Proximity (PROX): 200+ yards.
- SG in windy weather conditions.
- Par 5 scoring.
- Par 4 scoring.
- Greens-in-Regulation (GIRs) Gained.
- SG: Putting on Bermuda (over the last 12 rounds).
- SG: Putting on firm and fast greens (over the last 12 rounds).
Arnold Palmer ‘Starting 5’
- All stats are provided by FantasyNational.com unless noted.
There is some hesitation to back Day because of his plummet from World No. 1 to outside the top 150. But, Day has finished T18 or better in seven of his last nine events including three straight T9s or better.
He is 2nd in my API power rankings ranking 16th or better in this field in my KPI model, total SG over the last 24 rounds, course history, and total SG at comp courses pulled.
Day is 11th in this field for SG: Putting on Bermuda greens and 6th in SG: Putting on firm and fast greens. He is the 2016 Arnold Palmer champion and is getting closer to that 2015-16 form when Jason was World No. 1.
Jason needs to either win a PGA Tour event or be in the top-5 of the OWGR to qualify for the Masters after missing the last year. I’ve read recent interviews with Day and it seems like he is in a good place.
Day is a 10-time PGA Tour winner. Even though the API has a star-studded field, Day is still going for a good price considering his ceiling.
Over the last 50 rounds, Day is 2nd in this field for total SG at courses longer than 7,400 yards with difficult scoring conditions. He is behind World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
Day ranks top-10 in this field for SG across all major categories including 2nd in SG: Tee-to-Green (T2G) and SG: Short-Game in these spots.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Jason Day odds:
- Win: (0.25u: +3000)
- Top-5: (0.25u: +600)
- Top-10: (0.5u: +280)
Right now the pecking order in golf is Jon Rahm, McIlroy, and Scottie Scheffler. The next name on the list could very well be Homa who has won twice on the PGA Tour already this season.
Homa finished 2nd at the Genesis behind Rahm and has most of his game working. If there’s one weakness in Homa’s game currently it’s OTT where he is -0.4 SG over the last five events. He doesn’t struggle OTT at Bay Hill though.
In fact, Homa has gained yards and accuracy OTT vs. the field in the last three APIs. He finished T17 at last year’s Arnold Palmer, T10 in 2021, and T24 in 2020. While Homa is good throughout the bag, he separates himself on the greens.
Homa is +4.9 SG: Putting over his last five events and 15th in the field for SG: on firm and fast greens. Max picked up nearly eight strokes on the greens at Bay Hill in 2021.
The bottom line is even when Homa isn’t playing well he has the skill to compete. Homa is 8th in this field for Bogey Avoidance and 2nd in Scrambling over the last 50 rounds.
The following golfers I’m betting I consider “my guys”. Aka golfers I bet all the time. I hit Homa +2200 at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open thus Homa a new inductee into “my guys”.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Max Homa odds:
- Win: (0.5u: +2200)
- Top-5: (0.5u: +450)
- Top-10: (0.5u: +225)
Morikawa has been more accurate off-the-tee (OTT) than the field in 10 straight full-field events. Bay Hill has long rough and it’s so much easier to stick it close to the pin if your 2nd shot is from the fairway.
Then when you add in the iron skills it’s obvious Morikawa’s game fits Bay Hill. Morikawa is 4th in my KPI model over the past 36 rounds. He is 1st in Good Drives Gained, blending driving accuracy with distance.
Morikawa is 3rd in PROX: 200+, which I factored in because there are 6.1% more 2nd shots from 200+ yards out at Bay Hill. His elite ball-striking and iron play is why Morikawa is 2nd in this field for GIRs Gained.
Collin finished T9 at the 2020 API and T64 in 2019. The T64 sucks but he was +11.0 SG: T2G in 2020 and +5.6 SG: T2G in 2019. His putter let him down in both APIs, which is usually the explanation anytime Morikawa struggles in an event.
Morikawa has picked up strokes putting in four of his last five events entering the API. Collin cannot putt on Bermuda grass but if he continues his putting from the West Coast Swing, Morikawa is a threat to win in the Florida Swing.
If you’re familiar with my work you know Morikawa is “one of my guys” and I’ve bet him a lot. Morikawa made me money with a T6 at the 2023 Genesis Invitational two events ago so I see no reason to pass on Collin at the API.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Collin Morikawa odds:
- Win: (0.5u: +2000)
- Top-5: (0.5u: +400)
- Top-10: (0.5u: +200)
Speaking of one of my guys, I might need to check into rehab because I’m addicted to betting on Sungjae. What do you want me to do? Im usually makes me money and his game is world class.
Sungjae has the 13th-best odds to win the API but my model power ranks Im at No. 6. He is 9th per my key stats, 4th in course history, 12th in total SG for comp courses, and 18th in windy weather conditions.
Bay Hill is one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour but the Par 5s are gettable. Sungjae is 3rd in this field for SG: Par 5 and 5th in Par 5 EFF: 550-600. There are three Par 5s at Bay Hill within 550-600 yards.
All the water and bunker hazards around Bay Hill forces golfers to lay up, leaving them long iron shots into the greens. Sungjae is 2nd in this field for PROX: 200+ and 13th in SG: BS.
Im finished T20 and T21 in the last two Arnold Palmer Invitationals and 3rd in both 2019-20. Sungjae averaged +7.4 SG: Putting in the 2021-22 APIs and +9.3 SG: T2G in the previous two.
If Im can put together his full game for the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational then he’ll be a threat on Sunday.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Sungjae Im odds:
- Win: (0.35u: +3500)
- Top-5: (0.4u: +650)
- Top-10: (0.5u: +280)
My guest and former co-worker on this week’s Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by yours truly on the OutKick Bets podcast — Esten McLaren, golf handicapper at SportsbookReview.com — swayed me on Burns.
Actually, a better way to put it is “Esten reminded me that Sam Burns is another one of ‘my guys'”. Last season, I cashed a 20-1 ticket on Burns to win the Valspar Championship, which is part of the Florida Swing.
Burns is an LSU graduate and is very familiar with the Florida golf courses. Also, Burns is tied for the 4th best total SG at comp courses pulled. He’s the reigning back-to-back Valspar champion, finished T9 at last year’s API, and 7th at this season’s CJ CUP.
Aka Bermuda Burns, Sam is one of the best putters on Tour and kills it on Bermuda Greens. Burns 9th in this field for SG: Putting on Bermuda greens and 3rd in SG: Putting on firm and fast greens over the last 12 rounds.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Sam Burns odds:
- Win: (0.25u: +5500)
- Top-5: (0.25u: +1100)
- Top-10: (0.25u: +450)
- Top-20: (0.5u: +210)
Arnold Palmer Invitational Head-to-Heads
- All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Rory McIlroy (+100) > Jon Rahm
Even though Rahm is 1st in the Official World Golf Rankings, he’s 2nd in my API power rankings behind McIlroy.
Rahm’s 1st API was last year and he finished T17. McIlroy has five T10s or better in his eight career APIs and won the 2018 event.
McIlroy has the most SG: Par 5 and GIRs Gained in this field over the last 50 rounds. Rory is 3rd in SG: BS, 2nd in SG: Par 4, and 4th in SG: APP, all ahead of Rahm.
With all due respect to Rahm, I think McIlroy is the best golfer in the world and I’d take him at even-money or plus-odds vs. anyone.
I followed a similar logic when cashing McIlroy (-130) in a head-to-head over Rahm at THE CJ CUP back in October. THE CJ CUP is played a comp course to Bay Hill as well.
BET: Rory McIlroy (+100) to beat Jon Rahm in full tournament head-to-head
Tommy Fleetwood (+105) > Cameron Young
One things both of these guys have in common is neither have won a PGA Tour event. But, my numbers make Fleetwood 13th in my API power rankings and Young is 40th.
Young ranks 105th in this 120-golfer field for total SG in windy weather conditions, 107th in SG: Putting on Bermuda and 94th in SG: Putting on firm and fast greens.
Fleetwood is 10th in this field for total SG in windy weather conditions, 6th in SG: Putting on Bermuda and 13th in SG: Putting on firm and fast greens.
On top of that, Fleetwood got a much better tee time draw. The weather forecast in Orlando for Friday is predicting more than 20 mph winds in the afternoon.
Young got a Thursday a.m. and Friday p.m. tee time whereas Fleetwood has the Thursday p.m. and Friday a.m. tee time. I.e. Fleetwood gets to avoid the forecasted high winds and Young cannot.
BET: Tommy Fleetwood (+105) to beat Cameron Young in full tournament head-to-head
Arnold Palmer Invitational Final Bet Slip
- Jason Day: Win, Top-5, & Top-10 (1u)
- Max Homa: Win, Top-5, & Top-10 (1.5u)
- Collin Morikawa: Win, Top-5, & Top-10 (1.5u)
- Sungjae Im: Win, Top-5, & Top-10 (1.25u)
- Sam Burns: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (1.25u)
- Rory McIlroy (1u: +100) > Jon Rahm
- Tommy Fleetwood (1u: +105) > Cameron Young
2023 Honda Classic Recap (-5.25 units)
- Jhonattan Vegas, T22: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (-2u) ❌
- Billy Horschel, T42: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (-1.75u) ❌
- Taylor Pendrith, T42: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (-1.5u) ❌
- Hayden Buckley, missed the cut: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (-1.25u) ❌
- Callum Tarren, added via Twitter, missed the cut: Win, Top-5, Top-10 & Top-20 (0.625u) ❌
- Byeong-Hun An > Padraig Harrington (+1u) 💰
- Ben Griffin > Cameron Davis & S.H. Kim (+0.875u) 💰
Check out the Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by Geoff Clark on the OutKick Bets podcast feed. New episodes drop Tuesdays for all full-field PGA Tour events in the 2022-23 season.
FOLLOW GEOFF ON TWITTER: @Geoffery_Clark
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
PointsBet Sportsbook users can make their first bets risk-free up to $2,000. If the bet loses, PointsBet will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.
First-time DraftKings users can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus and receive a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000 when they sign up. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.