Who Will Prevail at Bay Hill? Arnold Palmer Invitational Breakdown
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Image Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau.

We’re heading to the familiar confines of Bay Hill this week after a rare unfamiliar course on Tour last week. Bay Hill is a par 72 that plays right around 7,380 yards. There are eight water hazards and 84 bunkers that the field will have to deal with as they make their way through the week.

What to do With the Stud Range

It looks like the low-owned plays in the $10,000-plus range are going to be Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000) and Patrick Reed ($10,200). Coincidentally, they’re first and third in wins from the simulator this week, respectively.

Bryson has “underperformed” the hype surrounding him, but he’s been solid so far this season. He’s played the weekend in three of four events[1] and has finished in the top 25 all three of those events. DeChambeau has outperformed the field by more than a stroke in half of his ten rounds so far in 2021. His highs are high and his lows are low, but if we manage to get any kind of an ownership discount on Bryson, it’s wise to take advantage.

With a few exceptions, Reed has been playing excellent golf. He’s a few weeks removed from a win at the Farmers and is coming off of a T9 on a brutal track in a WGC event. Reed also provides extra upside in that he’ll do literally anything he can to win. Rules be damned.

Mid-Range Pivot

A trio of chalk plays this week in the mid-range ($9,900 – $8,500) will likely be Francesco Molinari ($8,700), Sungjae Im ($9,700), and Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,800). The simulator likes Paul Casey ($9,100) the most out of this price range. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 12 in his four worldwide starts of 2021. Casey has been at least a full stroke better than the field in 19 of his last 50 rounds.

Value Target

I’m going to keep riding the Harris English ($8,300) and Cameron Tringale ($7,700) trains until the wheels completely fall off. English has had some bad results lately but has essentially had three bad rounds this year. Tringale continues to play impressive golf and comes in at sixth in PRK this week. I have him about one full stroke better than the average Tour golfer on a neutral course. Tringale’s made seven straight cuts and has six top-30 finishes over that span.

Deep Dives

There is a quartet of golfers that outperformed the sub-$7,500 range in their perfect lineup rate[2]. Here they are:

  • Si Woo Kim ($7,500)
  • Maverick McNealy ($7,100)
  • Henrik Norlander ($7,200)
  • Aaron Wise ($6,700)

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 one was no-cut
2 basically, I just have the optimizer pick the optimal lineup from each simulation that I run

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