Eat The Chalk or Make The Pivot, Arnold Palmer Invitational

We have the first of two great weeks of golf starting with the Arnold Palmer Invitational outside Orlando Florida. Bay Hill Club and Lodge is the host course playing over 7400 yards as a par 72. Off the tee the fairways provide generous landing areas making this a second shot course. The long second shots will be demanding with water lurking around the greens along with the defense of bunkers and thick rough. The course is wall to wall bermuda. Scoring is generally tough with the winning score in the low teens unless the winds pick up keeping it closer to the -5 range. This is an elevated field of 120 players so the field is on the strong side. So let’s take a look at who we can target.

9k+ Pricing
With only three players over 10k I will include the 9k players. Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler have recent wins. Will this drive people toward them and away from Rory McIlroy? Scottie is the defending champ while Rory has tremendous course history. Will this along with the price bring people in toward him. In the end I feel all three will be popular but in these elevated fields we haven’t dealt with extreme chalk. All three players are magnificent choices while we can make positives and negatives to play any of the three. For me I am heading toward Rory. Even with the price I feel he ends as the lowest owned of the three due to his recent results. The results don’t bother me because I am sure he has arrived in much worse form and played well.

The 9k range is loaded with star power like we have seen in all the elevated fields. What sticks out with these players is their lack of playing this tournament in prior years. Will this affect their ownership and perhaps push more toward the 10k players? One thing is for sure the form for these players is solid which will likely outweigh their inexperience here. In the end I can see the prices on Finau, Xander and Cantlay bringing people in making them the chalk of the range.

Two other players, who I prefer, will also attract many with that being Collin Morikawa and Will Zalatoris. Both have been ball striking machines putting up very strong tee to green numbers. Unfortunately the putter has been just the opposite, especially for Zalatoris. Personally, I don’t think either of these players are ones that can be played every so often in DFS within your pool. You either need to be in on them when they play or pass. I say this because it all comes down to the putter. Some weeks they have it, others they don’t and determining which weeks is an on or off week is unpredictable. I have played both every week they have played and will continue to.

8K Players
Plenty of interest for me in this range. I will eat the chalk on Matthew Fitzpatrick. He loves this place and the conditions set up well for him. Fitzy actually plays some of his better golf on longer courses. Cam Young should be another popular play. His tee to green game continues to be strong. His results haven’t been great recently which perhaps keeps some away. I avoided Sungjae Im last week fortunately. His recent performances won’t keep me away though. His price is juicy for the upside he brings. Perhaps we get some discounted ownership.

Jason Day will definitely be getting ownership due to his recent success. In a strong field and at his price I will gladly pass and take my chances he doesn’t continue his strong play. Tyrell Hatton is another who I will be passing on. I prefer to play him at lower ownerships and I expect him to be on the higher side due to his success here. The final chalk play of the range should be Keith Mitchell. Keith has been playing well recently and combined with solid history here at a reasonable price he will command plenty of ownership.

I will pivot off the three above with Tom Kim and Hideki Matsuyama. Both are excellent ball strikers and both will be under owned. The change of scenery from the west coast to Florida should help both. The putter continues to be the main issue for both. I am more than happy at a lower ownership to take the chance that the putter arrives with them.

7k Range
I do expect Shane Lowry to attract some ownership but with the amount of options in this range it should be moderate. Lowry is coming off a solid performance but has never played well here. One could argue that his ball striking is at a higher level current than his prior trips here. I also like if the the conditions get tough he is a great grinder. A nice pivot in the price range of Lowry is Corey Connors. Corey has been struggling but you have to imagine his game turns around with his ball striking ability. Due to those struggles Connors will be on the lower side of ownership. Another player who should be on the moderate side of ownership is Keegan Bradley. Keegan has solid history here while his game is in solid form. Bradley is another player who can grind when the conditions get tough.

That will do it for the Arnold Palmer. Enjoy the week and pay attention to the weather as it could affect who is in or out of the player pool. Let’s get those green screens and Run Pure!


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