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The stars return this weekend as 44 of the world’s top 50 golfers get set to compete at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Trent Pruitt breaks down the tournament from a betting perspective and provides his best bet.
ANALYSIS

2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview, Field, and Picks

The PGA Tour heads inland to Orlando, Florida where this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational is set to be played. We’ll see the big names return after many of the top 50 players in the world took last weekend’s Honda Classic off. 

Let’s dive into the course and the purse and lock in a bet for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

Arnold Palmer Invitational Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Dates: March 2 - 5, 2023
  • Where: Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FL
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+, NBC, Golf Channel

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL COURSE

Bay Hill Club and Lodge is the site for this weekend’s PGA Tour event. Arnold Palmer took ownership of the resort in 1974, and the tournament has been played under his name, image, and likeness since 2007. 

The course itself is listed as a par 72, spanning 7,466 yards and surrounded by elegant homes and other residential structures. It’s littered with sand traps and water hazards, but nothing that a true golf professional should struggle with. 

The key to success at Bay Hill is finding a suitable mix of driving distance and accuracy. With the current distance, it’s worth noting that the course is roughly 90 yards longer than the average par 72 course. Accuracy comes into play off the tees as golfers do not want to end up in the notorious rough, as it can be unforgiving and quickly derail a quality round. 

Upon the approach to the greens, it’s advised to go with the bump-and-run method as high-arching shots tend to simply bounce off the hard surface and can potentially cause issues. Overall, it’s a challenging course, but these world-class competitors should have no issue navigating the layout. Over the previous 10 tournaments at Bay Hill, we’ve seen scores range from Tyrell Hatton’s -4 victory in 2020 to as low as Matt Every’s -19 effort in 2015, where he capped off back-to-back wins at the Invitational.

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PURSE

This weekend’s Invitational is one of 10 PGA events this season with a $20,000,000 purse. The winner will take home $3,600,000. 

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PREVIEW

It’s a star-studded field teeing off at Bay Hill this weekend. The lineup features defending champion Scottie Scheffler, who shot five-under last year en route to capturing the symbolic red cardigan. He’ll be challenged by the usual suspects of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy as well as up-and-comers like Matthew Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris. 

It’s typically a tight finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, exemplified by the fact that seven of the last nine outings have been decided by just one stroke. I find that interesting considering the large variance of winning scores over the years, spanning from -4 to -18 over the previous 10 events here. 

Whatever the case, we should be in for an excellent tournament as the world's best go toe-to-toe for one of the 10 $20,000,000 purses that are being offered up this season. 

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PREDICTION 

As Tiger Woods exits stage left, Rory McIlroy seems to be the man stepping up to be the face of golf moving forward. While no one can truly replace Woods, who actually won this event eight times, McIlroy will do his best to take over the throne. And, of course, he’ll have to fend off rising stars in Rahm and Scheffler in the process. 

McIlroy ended the 2022 calendar year as the top-ranked golfer in the world, but with Rahm’s red-hot start to 2023 and Scheffler’s victory in Phoenix, the Northern Irishman has dropped to third in the standings. 

I like for him to bounce back in a big way this weekend and secure a victory. The angle here is simply his course history. McIlroy’s always in contention at Bay Hill, finishing inside of the top 15 in his last six starts here. 

He won the event in 2018 (-18) with a three-stroke cushion and has four other top 10 finishes over the six-start span: T4 (-9, 2017), T5 (E, 2020), T6 (-8, 2019), T10 (-3, 2021). When it’s all said and done, McIlroy wants to make his way to the Mount Rushmore of golfers: Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods, and McIlroy. I’m expecting a legacy outing from McIlroy at Palmer’s venue. Let’s ride with Rory. 

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PICK

2023 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL FIELD

GolferOdds
Jon Rahm+700
Rory McIlroy+1000
Scottie Scheffler+1100
Max Homa+1900
Collin Morikawa+2100
Justin Thomas+2300
Xander Schauffele+2400
Will Zalatoris+2500
Patrick Cantlay+2800
Tony Finau+2800

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Article Author

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Trent is a Chicago native who has been an avid sports fan since he could walk. He played sports throughout his youth and played collegiate rugby at Arizona State University. Trent still resides in Arizona, where he spends his days covering sports from a sports betting perspective. He fell in love with the analytical side of sports in his late teens and has been following the sports betting industry for 10+ years now! You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram for all of his sports betting picks at @Trentbets.

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