The PGA Tour and the Florida Swing roll on heading to Bay Hill for the 2016 edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The PGA Tour schedule does not afford the fan or the player the opportunity to take a breath. 12 of the world’s top-30 have entered the field including four in the top-10 including Rory McIlroy and Adam Scot, who looks to win his third consecutive start. It is a tournament with a rich history, while operating as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and prior as the Bay Hill Invitational. The event has been a tour stop since 1979.
The Bay Hill Club & Lodge will be the host course, as usual, for the event. An original Dick Wilson designed track was loved so much by Arnold Palmer that he ended up buying the course. Of course it would not be an Arnold Palmer design if he did not make changes over the years. Nothing wrong with that as Arnie is one of the premier course designers in the world.
Dick Wilson and later, Arnold Palmer, did a great job creating a challenging course from top to bottom. Many argue that the final three holes at Bay Hill creating one of the most challenging closing stretches on tour. While they are not wrong, I think of Bay Hill as a sandwich. The opening hole and the final two will decide the event.
Dates: March 17 -20 2016
Course: Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Stats: Par 72, 7,381 yards
Television Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 2:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 2:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday: Golf Channel 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST, NBC 2:30 -6:00 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST, NBC 2:30 -6:00 PM EST
Purse: $6.3 million total purse, $1.134 million winner share
2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | Bay Hill Three Holes To Watch
Hole No. 1 – Par 4, 461 Yards
When you start out a round with a 461 yard, Par-4 then you know a course is trying to get your attention. Players are faced with a dogleg left opener with two challenging bunkers visible off the tee. Those bunkers can force players to overcompensate and hit into the left rough. Four bunkers frame the green and players have to play a high shot into the green in order to hold close to a few of the tight pin placements here.
Hole No. 17 – Par 3, 231 Yards
The 17th hole is a 231 yard, Par-3 will either yield great success of epic failure. The raised tee makes the approach shot appear less formidable than it actually is. The lack of a bailout area is evident by the water surrounding three sides of this green, one of the smaller at Bay Hill. Balls just shot may plug in the beach bunker making the blast into the lightning fast green a real challenge.
Hole No. 18 – Par 4, 458 Yards
Players will get one swing to breathe as the Par-4 458 yard, 18th will allow for a grip it and rip it tee shot. But after that, and with tournament hopes on the line, players will be forced to attack a kidney shaped landing area. This green has rock-lined water in front that has swallowed its fair share of balls and hopes throughout the years. Drama will be made yet again and the deserving finishing hole at Bay Hill.
2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | Bay Hill Selections
Let’s take a look at three players that I would predict to be right in the hunt coming down the stretch on Sunday at the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Two players will seem more logical than the other but I am adding a player that just might surprise, basically a sleeper for success at the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | Bay Hill
|Adam Scott||The fact that he is in the field makes him the favorite. Why? He is coming off back-to-back wins in the Honda Classic and Cadillac Championship. He is looking to be the first three-peat winner since Rory a few years ago. While it is true that the US dominates at Bay Hill, Scott is playing at an insane level and throw in the runner-up finish in his other two starts to put icing on the cake. So much for the long putter concerns.|
|Jason Day||Made the cut in three of four with all three being top-25s in 2016. He has history in Arnie's tournament with multiple top-25s in the past including his tie for 17th. He has modified his schedule to prep for major and line things up for a run throughout this summer. He is beginning his active streak and has a level of confidence that he lacked in previous years. Expect him to improve at Bay Hill.|
|Keegan Bradley||He is having a rough time of it this year but the Thursday round at the Valspar gives me a glimpse into the remainder of the year. Keegan knows how to get around Bay Hill boasting a solo 2nd finish in 2014 and a tie for 3rd in 2013. What better place to break through in 2016 at Arnie's tournament. Don't sleep on him because he is quiet.|