Power Rankings for the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Going to try something new for Tuesdays by delivering a weekly Top 10 ranking of the best golfers coming into each event.

I’m factoring in a combination of form leading in/recent results, course history, and how the golfers rated out in my stat model for the week.

Honorable Mention:

Cameron Young (DraftKings: $7,500; Odds to Win: +8000)

This PGA Tour rookie is really starting to make a name for himself, as Cameron Young finds himself on a tremendous three week stretch right now — 16th at the Honda Classic, Runner-Up at Genesis, and 26th at Waste Management (also a 20th place finish at Torrey Pines a few weeks before that).

The guy just continues to prove himself as a legitimate player on tour — an incredibly consistent ball-striker who can also make putts.

Young has never played at Bay Hill, but he’s already shown a propensity to succeed at long and difficult courses. The question really becomes how much does Cameron Young have left in the tank as he enters his fourth consecutive week of golf on tour. Don’t sleep on this guy.

#10 — Max Homa (DraftKings: $8,700; Odds to win: +4500)

Max Homa wasn’t really on my radar until he appeared 7th in my stat model for this week…

I quickly realized that Homa has simply been playing awesome golf in 2022, headlined by a T10 at Genesis and T14 at Waste Management.

Homa’s course history at Bay Hill is solid, boasting a 10th place finish last year and a 24th the year before.

No reason to overthink it: Homa is in great form and seemingly loves showing up at tough courses.

#9 — Sungjae Im (DraftKings: $9,900; Odds to win: +2200)

We must forgive and forget with Sungjae Im after missing the cut as the betting favorite last week at Honda. Chalk it up to a volatile, unpredictable event that always features some surprising results.

Sungjae’s game just never feels like it’s too far off, and didn’t appear far off based on my eye test from the featured group coverage I watched last week.

Now Sungjae comes to a place where he’s finished 21st, 3rd, and 3rd. Just feels like such a clear bounce back spot for him.

#8 — Matt Fitzpatrick (DraftKings: $9,200; Odds to win: +2000)

Matt Fitzpatrick is another guy who has just quietly been playing great golf in 2022–10th at Waste Management and 6th at Pebble Beach.

He was set to be a trendy value pick at Genesis before being forced to withdraw due to an illness. Hopefully he’s doing well…

After two weeks off, Fitzpatrick comes to a place where he has pretty phenomenal course history. In six trips to Bay Hill, Fitzpatrick has missed the cut twice but finished T13 or better in the other four times.

#7 — Marc Leishman (DraftKings: $9,100; Odds to Win: +2800)

Marc Leishman is truly one of my favorites on the board this week. When he’s been in form — which he most definitely is currently — Leishman’s produced some outstanding results at API, including a win, a runner-up finish, a 3rd place finish, and a 7th place finish.

#6 — Hideki Matsuyama (DraftKings: $10,300; Odds to Win: +2500)

Hideki Matsuyama has never finished better than T18 at API, but he’s also never missed the cut in six trips and generally strikes the ball beautifully here.

He’s struggled mightily on the greens at Bay Hill in his career, but Matsuyama’s putter has shown a lot of life this season on the PGA Tour.

Perhaps this is the year Matsuyama can finally marry the ball striking with the putting at API and churn out a top finish.

#5 — Will Zalatoris (DraftKings: $9,400; Odds to Win: +2500)

Will Zalatoris finished T10 at API in his first appearance at the event last year. This is just simply the sport for Zalatoris to thrive — essentially a ball-strikers paradise, where the scorers shouldn’t go too low and so he doesn’t need to putt out of his mind to contend.

As we saw at Torrey Pines for Zalatoris, quality two putts for Par can (very nearly) get the job done.

Zalatoris’ floor feels like a top 20 finish this week, with legitimate top 5 and contention upside.

#4 — Viktor Hovland (DraftKings: $10,800; Odds to Win: +1800)

For whatever reason, Viktor Hovland has “struggled” (with this term being relative to how great a golfer Hovland is) at Bay Hill — never finishing better than T40 in three trips.

That said, Hovland comes in with great form after a 4th place finish at Genesis two weeks ago, and Bay Hill is a course that in theory sets up incredibly well for his game.

I believe Hovland is the next generation Rory McIlroy, and this is a course where McIlroy dominates. With that in mind, I fully expect Hovland to produce some great results at API in his career— probably starting this year.

#3 — Scottie Scheffler (DraftKings: $10,600; Odds to Win: +1600)

Scottie Scheffler has been playing as well as anyone of late. He notched his first career win a few weeks ago at the Waste Management, and then followed it up with an impressive T7 the next week at Genesis.

For a guy whose game already appeared to travel well, Scheffler comes to Bay Hill this week in good form and with a ton of confidence.

It’s just so hard to imagine Scottie not playing well right now.

#2 — Jon Rahm (DraftKings: $11,400; Odds to Win: +750)

Interestingly enough, Jon Rahm has never played the Arnold Palmer Invitational before. Does it matter? Probably not — Rahm plays great golf anywhere and everywhere.

Even while bleeding strokes away with the putter, Rahm still finished T21 at Genesis and T10 at Waste Management. Is Rahm’s putter truly a problem at the moment? I don’t think so. At least eye test wise it hasn’t looked like a complete disaster or anything to me.

So if his putter is just ok at Bay Hill — which I assume it is — there’s a good chance Rahm wins or comes very close this week.

#1 — Rory McIlroy (DraftKings: $11,100; Odds to Win: +1000)

Rory McIlroy’s history at Bay Hill is immaculate, with only one finish outside the top 10 in six trips (that being 11th place), which helps give him the slight nod over Rahm.

I think a lot of people have wanted vintage Rory back for a while now — the world class golfer who just contends week after week — and it feels like we’re incredibly close to that.

Rahm is the betting favorite, but it really feels to me like McIlroy is the most likely to win.



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Nick DeMott

Nick DeMott

Golf + Naturalist + Old Man at Heart