Fantasy PGA Preview: The Arnold Palmer Invitational

So – we come to an event most golfers in the world love to play. The Arnold Palmer. The last stop in Florida before the PGA boys head to Texas. With the Masters only a few weeks away, I feel like this season has just flown by. This week I will be focusing on Draftkings.

Valspar Championship recap

Towards the end of this tournament I get the same feeling as I did during the Honda. That feeling was that nobody wanted to win this event. Though my fellow compatriot John Senden, deep in the Snake Pit, snatched victory away from the the rest of the field with a lovely chip in on the 16th after looking dead in the trees after his tee shot. With a gimmick like The Snake Pit you would think he should also won a shirt that says I survived the Snake Pit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

My picks last week were solid. Only Richard H Lee (not to be confused with Danny Lee or Dong H Lee failed to make the cut. After a scary first day Chesson Hadley pulled through and placed a solid 13th. Haas came in 14th, Knox finished 25th and Harris was a little disappointing at 38th.

As anytime Kevin Na is near the top of the leaderboard, the issue of slow play once again reared its ugly head. I felt sorry for Garrigus (leading after 54 holes), who seemed to be put off his game due to Kevin Na’s painfully slow play. In the end you are a pro and you need to just focus on your own game. At this point I am just glad there is a different winner than those already in The Masters. With all the fantasy money tied up in the first major of the year we need as many options as possible.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational

Here we are at Bay Hill. Of course anytime we are here the conversation in main stream media is (8-time winner here) Tiger Woods. Well none of that here. If you want to take him go right ahead, he is the most expensive player on Draftkings and has not completed a full four rounds of golf without game- changing back pain in the last two events. I don’t know if I would roster him even if he was low 9K – high 8K range. Another name near the top I am puzzled over is Matt Every. Sure he has had some decent form of late but 9.3K is a little high for my liking.

The Course

The Arnold Palmer is played at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando Florida. The course runs 7,419 yards long and is a Par 72 track. There are 103 bunkers on the course with water in play on 9 holes. It has average size greens and the rough is looking a little higher than usual so scoring might be higher than in previous years.


Tier 1

Bubba Watson flag $10,300
Bubba hasn’t missed a cut here since 2010. Since that time he has not finished outside the top 25 either. With a course this long some of the heavy hitters can shine at Bay Hill. Also in Bubba’s favour is his recent form. In his last 3 stroke play events he has one 1st sandwiched between two 2nd’s. Quiet simply he is in great form. 10.3K is a little spendy but Bubba should more than make up for it.
Gary Woodland flag $9,400
Woodland is another monster off the tee. Currently ranked 12th on tour in distance but first in total driving. One thing I like about Woodland these days is he has sought after the advice of Greg Norman. During the Humana he asked his agent to find him a mentor. Within days of speaking to Norman, he sent his putting footage to Norman and Greg called him right back. The very next week Woodland finished 10th. Since then, his stroke play finishes have been inside the top 25 (besides the Phoenix Open). With Woodland’s distance and an extra boost in confidence from The Shark I could see Woodland doing more damage out on Tour.
Keegan Bradley flag $9,300
According to the PGA tour’s commercial this guy breaks the sound barrier, BOOM! I think Keegan might be more of a tournament play as I think some of the other DFS players out there might go with other options at his price. I don’t like watching him, as I think his fidgeting really gets to me. You might find people are still scorned over his 80 during the second round of the Phoenix Open and missing the cut. Since then he has had two top 20 finishes. His last event was a 50th at the Cadillac but that event was all over the place. For all the he’s due guys out there, Keegan has not picked up a top 10 in a while. He is about due for one and why not be at a place he finished 3rd last year.

Tier 2

John Senden $8,200
Why not go with the man the survived THE SNAKE PIT!!!! Actually a guy from Queensland Australia is probably thinking to himself That’s not a snake . . . now that’s a snake! Sorry, that was me doing my best American impersonation of an American doing an Australian impersonation. How’d I go? Senden picked up his first win on tour since 2006 and his confidence is riding high. I look for him to build upon that. I went next level of research with Senden. I looked back over his last 10 years on the PGA tour and looked how he performed after a top 10 finish. He made the cut 84% of the time and averaged 34th over 31 top 10 finishes. He has a nice average of 25th over his last 5 trips to Bay Hill.
George McNeill flag $8,400
I was all in on McNeill last week and his finish made me shout Alright Rorge. Sorry, had a childhood flashback to the Jetsons. George is a Florida man and has done pretty well in his home state over the last few years. He has had some solid finishes as of late with 4 straight top 25’s with two of those being top 10’s. He ‘s 4 cuts made of 4 trips to Bay Hill with an average finishing place of 39th.
Martin Laird $8,200
Last week I went with Scottish player Russell Knox, this week I’m going with Martin Laird, que some Braveheart quotes? Martin’s recent performance isn’t quite as solid as some of the above players. Four top 25’s this season with a few finishes above that. He has not missed a cut this calendar year and has got a nice track record at Bay Hill. Of course winning the event in 2011 will help your average finishing place out a lot, but since that win he hasn’t placed worse than a 36th. Right where you expect him to finish considering his recent performance and his past history.

Tier 3

J.B Holmes flag $6,400
I will menton right off the bat . . . he is risky. Though so far this season he has only missed one cut so far (Honda). His best finish this season was at the Farmers. One thing he is known for on tour, like Woodland and Bubba above, distance baby! Tons of it too. He is currently 8th on tour in making golf balls cry. Not only that, J.B. has a nice 7 cuts made in 7 trips to Bay Hill. His last trip here he finished 29th.
David Hearn $7,200
Canadian golf is starting to shape up a bit these days. Well maybe not, Mike Weir is still out there, eh? Hearn though has been on a nice little run picking up three straight top 25 finishes. Two of those three have been top 10 finishes on two very hard courses. Those rugged Canadians, outlasting a Bear Trap and a Snake Pit. In his solo trip to Bay Hill Hearn placed 45th. Lets see if he can improve on that.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano $7,200
I know I might take some flak on this one but he is still priced decent. Forget the absolute bomb he dropped on everybody during the Farmers. That was 9 weeks ago. Since then he is managing to make cuts, though his last event was the Cadillac which was brutal for him as it was for many better players. He has had success last season here at Bay Hill, finishing 3rd. If he can draw upon that success he might have a decent shot in making this selection well worth the risk.

Well guess, 9 picks this week. Hope you all have good luck in your leagues.



About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.


  • 10Beers

    no need to worry about Tiger – he’s out.

  • dips56

    • 2013 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    I am sick and tired of the media making Kevin Na the poster boy for slow play, like he is the only one who is slow. It reminds me of the media making it seem Barry Bonds was the only one who took PEDs. And Na is a good guy and Bonds is not. There are tons of slow players on tour and Na is just one of them. Na wasn’t even slow on Sunday, so to blame Na even a little bit for Garrigus’ struggles is just wrong and unfair. Garrigus said he would be nervous going into the fourth round. That was the likely cause not Na. If you want call Na slow that’s fine but don’t make him a scapegoat for other people’s poor play.

  • wavegoodbye

    ok kevin whatever you say

  • agendaman


    jack nicklaus was often criticized for slow play

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