PGA First Look: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Welcome to our first look at this week’s PGA Tour event on FantasyDraft.  Wow! What a fun week at the Valspar!  I was able to get out to the course all 4 days and see a ton of golf and Tiger in Sunday red in contention.  I’ve never seen the Valspar like that, it was such an extraordinary site to see.  I hope he comes back for years to come.  I haven’t quite digested what the changes will look like with the Players moving up to March next season and the PGA Championship to May, but hopefully it means the schedule works out that this event will continue to grow.  This week we head to a very important event an hour and a half east to Orlando.  Arnold Palmer was such a huge influencer for the game and I’m glad a solid field is heading to Bay Hill this week to play in his tournament.

Course Information:

Course: Bay Hill Club, Orlando, FL
Yardage/Par: Par 72, 7,419 Yards
Scoring Expectation: Medium. Weather plays a part in this like most courses in FL, currently its looking calm all week.

Greens: Bermuda
Weather: Looks pretty much perfect – temperatures ranging from 60-75 and light breezes.  Looks pretty much ideal for scoring.

We’ve released the FireCharts series to the public!  For a quick guide to what they’re all about, check out this post.  FireStats now included!

Last Week’s Cash Lineup:

Thanks, Paul Casey! So great to see him win last week and apparently I should have written about more golfers.  The 4 I wrote about all had solid weeks with Casey winning and Sergio popping in the Top 5.  The rest of my picks all managed to MC, but with Casey snagging the W it was just enough to bring the lineup into the Payout Zone!  I really tried to stack the top of the board with Sergio, Stenson, and Casey last week and it’ll be a strategy I continue to explore in upcoming weeks, but hopefully with a better punt option than Talor Gooch provided – although he scored more than Hoffman…

This week’s picks!

Golfers to Consider:

Tiger Woods ($17,000)

Well, let’s just start with the Big Cat.  Big decision to make whether or not to pay up for Tiger or grab a pretty significant discount down to the Rory/Fleetwood/Rickie range. For cash, I’m not sure I’ll get here, but if you haven’t heard – Tiger is back. Check out these last 8 rounds on tour – vastly outpacing the avg score of the field in each one.  He striped his irons last week and managed the driver very well, gaining strokes off the tee as well (oh and did you see that drive on 14 on Saturday?? I did b/c it landed about 25 feet from me).  I’ll be interested to see what he does with a little more open format with the driver, but he’s dominated this track in the past and is showing all the right signs with his game.  Very exciting to have him as a huge decision in DFS!

Rickie Fowler ($15,800)

This feels way too cheap for someone as consistent as Rickie.  His last 2 outings left a ton of people disappointed, highlighted with the MC as the defending champion at Honda and this feels like a great spot to jump back in while people have some negative bias.  Truth is his T2G game was just fine in those 2 disappointing episodes and an ice cold putter is what did him in.  Great spot to get involved!

Jason Kokrak ($14,200)

Kokrak has been playing some solid golf for a lot longer than I realized, rarely anchored by a hot putter.  It’s no surprise that he can score with the best of them, he eats up Par 5s.  But he’s been hitting Fairways and Greens above field averages during his prolonged consistent run which has really limited his bogey making.  Love this price for the upside!

Charles Howell III ($13,000)

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  We could argue all day long whether or not CH3 has upside to win or not (he does, thank you Paul Casey for helping this side of the argument), but what you can’t deny is he makes a ton of cuts and at $13,000 that’s fantastic.  He’s a T2G machine – I write about him too often, but he’s a great cheap cash play almost every week and we love this type of easy building block!

Good luck and be sure to check out for a full range of content as the week goes on to help you make sound investment decisions and build that bankroll!  Roger Casey (@LatticeProject) offers a Full Investment Guide on Wednesday’s with our preferred cash game plays specifically for FantasyDraft and GPP strategy.  Check it out!

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a contributor at You can find him on FantasyDraft as smithma3 and on Twitter @msmithwc

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