Yahoo Contest Preview – Arnold Palmer Invitational

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 6, 2015 21:11

The Florida swing comes to a conclusion this week, as the PGA Tour stops at Bay Hill Club for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The King has owned this club since 1974 and the tournament has held his name since 2007. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of only five tournaments given invitational status by the PGA Tour, and consequently it has a reduced field of only 120 players. Bay Hill is a par 72 and measures 7,419 yards, which ranks it as one of the longest tracks on tour all year. It features four par 5s and four par 3s.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational hosts 15 of the Top 30 players in the world including Bubba, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day and world #1 Rory Mcllroy making his first appearance here.

Last year Matt Every earned his first PGA tour victory by, erasing a four-shot deficit on Adam Scott to win by one stroke. Every closed with just a 2-under-par 70, including bogeys on the final two holes that opened the door for Keegan Bradley who put together a late charge to threaten a playoff. After birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, Bradley faced a 30-foot birdie try but the putt stayed left of the hole and Every breathed a sigh of relief. Each of the past three years here at Bay Hill the winning score has been 13 under par.

Last week Fantasy Golf Insider’s Zach Turcotte talked in his Daily Spin article about doubts from so called experts in this industry about the Strokes Gained statistic. We even heard somebody state that he felt it was a media ploy by the PGA Tour. Another uninformed person said that it was too new of a statistic to be reliable. We have done a tremendous amount of research into this statistic and looked at the results, see Do Statistics Really Matter in Fantasy Golf. Bottom line, this is the most meaningful statistic in golf today. For those of you who are not familiar, Strokes Gained was developed by an Ivy League professor named Dr. Mark Broadie, and detailed in his book Every Shot Counts. Every shot on the PGA Tour for more than 10 years has been compiled to contribute to it. Now that we know how amazingly effective and meaningful Sabermetrics has become in baseball after being developed by Bill James. We wonder how people could have been so resistant and ignorant to that revolutionary idea. Strokes Gained is in the same light as Sabermetrics in predicting success and we want to be revolutionary like Bill James and Billy Beane. If any of you have doubts, do three things- Read our articles Do Statistics Really Matter in Fantasy Golf, read Dr. Mark Broadie’s book Every Shot Counts, or just look back at the leaderboards for every tournament in the last several years and compare it to the leaders in Strokes Gained for that same tournament. You will see what we are talking about and question, like we do, the information coming from others out there who call themselves “experts”. With that being said, we are always looking closely at Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and Total Strokes Gained every single week. In addition, this week we are going to look at a combination of driving distance, greens in regulation, and putting. Driving distance will be important because it is a long course and there is not a tremendous amount of danger, unlike last week at Copperhead. This will be more comparable to Doral in that the drives off the beaten path will not be punished, and we saw who did well at Doral- Dustin, Bubba, and JB Holmes. Historically guys who have putted well at Bay Hill have finished well. As a matter of fact the Top 11 guys in putting last year at Bay Hill all finished in the Top 20, with winner Matt Every finishing 8th in putting and runner-up Keegan Bradley being the 3rd best putter. Not many people are talking about putting this week, but it is as important here as it is in any tournament this year.

We will continue to out-work everybody in the industry to make our members successful and profitable in season long and daily fantasy golf. As always, stick to solid lineup building, diversification, smart game selection, and disciplined bankroll management. See: How to win playing daily fantasy golf.

A key factor that we analyze every week is Tournament History. Check out our Tournament History page to see exactly who has had success in the past in this tournament.

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Henrik Stenson & J.B Holmes- After coming over to the PGA Tour this season, his two performances have been spectacular with a 4th last week at Valspar and a T4 at the WGC Cadillac. His tournament history at the Arnold Palmer Invitational isn’t bad either with a 15th in 2012, 8th in 2013, and 5th last year. Stenson’s game fits well for Bay Hill as he is long off the tee and a dynamic irons player. What has held him back in the past is his putter, and that looks to be improving. We like Stenson a lot this week. Here are the things we like about JB this week: his current Form- 2nd at WGC Cadillac, T22 at Northern Trust, T10 at Pebble Beach, and 2nd at Farmers. 2- Tournament History- 8 for 8 in made cuts including a 10th in 2014, 29th in 2012, 47th in 2011, and 21st in 2010. Statistics- 7th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 24th in Total Strokes Gained, 14th in Driving Distance. Long Hitter, Long Course. He is a great pick this week.

A-List others: We also really like Bubba this week and it was a close call between him and J.B. Holmes. We also considered Webb Simpson




Rickie Fowler & Daniel Berger– Rickie has not shown us much this year, but it is time for him to break-out. That and he is one the best golfer on the B-List this week. He missed the cut here last year but had a Top 5 two years ago. His current form is not up to his standards, but not horrible as he did have a T12 at the WGC Cadillac. We are looking for a bounce-back for Berger this week after missing the cut by one stroke last week. Berger had been playing stellar up until last week when he missed the cut (although only by 1 stroke). Before that Berger had a runner up at Honda, T10 at Pebble Beach, T24 at The Farmers, T10 at WM Phoenix Open, and T13 at the Sony Open. Berger ranks 25th in greens in regulation, 14th in driving distance, 26th in Total Strokes Gained, and 25th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green. He is a really solid young player and we think he is going to bounce back strong this week.

B-List Others- Paul Casey, CHIII, an Ian Poulter




Martin Laird & Justin Thomas- Last week at Valspar Laird delivered a T33, decent but not thrilling. We like him this week as well. Before Valspar Laird had a T7 at The Farmers, T5 at the WM Phoenix Open, and T15 at Humana. He ranks well in many statistical categories including 14th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 15th in Total Strokes Gained, 16th in Greens in Regulation, 32nd in Driving Distance, and 5th in Par three birdie or better percentage. Laird’s tournament history here at Bay Hill has been good having made the cut every appearance and taking a 76th, 34th, 36th, WIN, and 74th over his past five appearances. Everything checks out for Laird this week and will be a great option. Thomas did miss the cut here last year, but we believe he is a different player this year. His current form is T10 last week at Valspar, MC at Honda, T41 at Northern Trust, MC at Farmers, T17 WM Phoenix Open, T7 at Humana, T6 at Sony. He ranks 35th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 32 in Total Strokes Gained, and 27th in driving distance. We like a good finish for Thomas this week.

C-List others- Shawn Stefani and Shane Lowry
As always the best of luck to you, our premium members, for without you we would not exist. We will continue to strive to give you the best information anywhere in the industry. Please let us know how you are doing and how much you are winning

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 6, 2015 21:11

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