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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Arnold Palmer Invitational - Preview

The next stop on the traveling carnival that is the PGA TOUR is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and here is a preview to get you off and running with your research.

This tournament has also been referred to as the Tiger Woods Invitational over the years, as he is a eight-time champion here, but he is not in the field this week. Matt Every is this week's defending champion, but enters this week having played poorly during the 2014-15 campaign.

Bay Hill Club and Lodge is the familiar venue. It is a par-72 layout, stretching out to a respectable 7,419 yards. Of note, it has played to a par of 70 in 2007-2009, but that was when the course played several hundred yards shorter.

Here is a look at the winners and runners-up dating back to 2005:

  • 2005: Winner: Kenny Perry (276) over Graeme McDowell and Vijay Singh (278)
  • 2006: Winner: Rod Pampling (274) over Greg Owen (275)
  • 2007: Winner: Vijay Singh (272) over Rocco Mediate (274)
  • 2008: Winner: Tiger Woods (270) over Bart Bryant (271)
  • 2009: Winner: Tiger Woods (275) over Sean O'Hair (276)
  • 2010: Winner: Ernie Els (277) over Eduardo Molinari and Kevin Na (279)
  • 2011: Winner: Martin Laird (280) over Steve Marino (281)
  • 2012: Winner: Tiger Woods (275) over Graeme McDowell (280)
  • 2013: Winner: Tiger Woods (275) over Justin Rose (277)
  • 2014: Winner: Matt Every (275) over Keegan Bradley (276)

So what does that list prompt in terms of stats and research?
  • This list seems to have a bit more of a European flair than most. That could be because many of the European Tour players make their homes in the Orlando area and play out of Lake Nona, or it may be unrelated.
  • Ball-striking seems to be the calling card of most of that list, and that makes since when one considers the large number of water hazards in play at Bay Hill. 
  • If you consider what Tiger Woods was in his prime, which is absolutely relevant considering how many times he's won here, par 5 scoring should be a factor. He was the king of dominating par 5s and breaking even the rest of the way. 
  • While this isn't a bombers course to the extent of a Doral, length matters here. 
We will work on a power ranking and have it out to you as soon as possible. Due to a bit of an unpredictable schedule at the start of the week, I hope to have the power ranking and one-and-done posted on Tuesday night. 

Until then, happy research!

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