Heading into Sunday at the Honda Classic, it looked like Daniel Berger was going to run away with the victory. But he stumbled in the final round and Sepp Straka swooped in for his first PGA Tour win at PGA National.
This week the stars are out for the second leg of the Florida swing as Bay Hill in Orlando hosts the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the marquee non-majors on the PGA Tour schedule. Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau won’t be in the field after withdrawing Monday with a hand injury. Below, we look at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions to win.
World No. 1 Jon Rahm comes in with the best odds to win at Bay Hill. He’s also No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, maintaining his status as the world’s best player. But he’ll face some stiff competition from Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im and others.
After clawing their way through the Bear Trap at PGA National, players will face the challenge of Bay Hill. It’s a par 72 and plays to 7,466 yards, one of the longer courses on the schedule. Like PGA National, there’s water on many holes, requiring accuracy off the tee and to the greens. The thick rough will punish anyone with wayward tee shots.
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2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks – Favorite
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday at 3:18 a.m. ET.
Rory McIlroy (+1200)
Based on his track record at Bay Hill, there’s no bigger horse in the field this week than McIlroy: T10, T5, T6, 1st, T4, T27, T11 in seven career appearances. He’s not necessarily playing his best right now, but he tied for 10th two weeks ago at The Genesis Invitational and finished third in the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour at the end of January.
At a course where ball-striking is so critical, it’s hard not to love McIlroy this week. He’s first in SG: Tee-to-Green in his last 24 rounds at Bay Hill, according to DraftKings.
That’s good enough for me.
2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks – Contender
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Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+6000)
A third-round 75 did Bezuidenhout in at The Honda Classic, his worst round of the week by four shots. He bounced back with a final-round 66 to finish T25, his fourth top-25 finish this season.
In two starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bezuidenhout finished seventh last year and tied for 18th in 2020.
A steady player who’s been in contention a few times this season, I like Bezuidenhout at +6000 to potentially make a run.
2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational picks – Long shot
Troy Merritt (+10000)
Long shots are long shots for a reason, right? Merritt missed the cut at The Genesis Invitational and tied for 38th the week before at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he also has four top-25 finishes this season, including a tie for 4th at Pebble Beach.
With an emphasis on ball-striking this week, Merritt looks like a solid pick, ranking 41st in SG: Tee-to-Green this season and 40th in SG: Off-the-Tee. He tied for third at Bay Hill in 2016 and was T24 in 2020.
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