The 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational - What to Look Out ForPublished on 03/14/2023 · 5 min readFollow along with Golf Expert Luke H. to know who to keep an eye on and what holes to watch at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational kicks off this week at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. The event was originally named The Florida Citrus Open Invitational and debuted as a permanent event on the PGA Tour’s Florida swing in 1979—all being played at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Lodge & Club. In 2007, the event changed its name to The Arnold Palmer Invitational, and it has become one of the most-watched events during the PGA Tour season ever since!
Before we dive into this week’s field, I want to take you through a quick and fascinating tour of the course. The course originally opened in the mid-’60s, and Arnold Palmer who lived nearby took a five-year lease on the course in 1970 and then outright purchased the property in 1975. I stayed at the Bay Hill for a weekend a few summers back, and Mr. Palmer’s attention to detail on the course and in the lodge really made it an experience like no other. After he passed in 2016, the club members set up a memorial for Arnold in the main hall of the lodge, showcasing his bag, the Invitational trophy, and a plaque of the previous winners.
Arnold Palmer’s Legacy
Before we jump into the course and players, I have a fun memory from my visit to the Bay Hill Lodge.
After I finished hole 18, I walked into the bar to wait for some friends, and there was a small table (which you can see pictured here) that I choose to sit at.
As soon as I sat down, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and a faint sensation of serenity swept over me. The bartender caught the shiver I did and walked out from behind the bar to ask, “Something about this table call to you?” I distinctly remember replying “Yeah, I dunno why, but it's just the perfect spot. You can look at the bay windows and see everything…seems like a great spot to unwind after a round.”
The bartender then replies “That was Mr. Palmer’s table and you’re sitting in the chair he always sat in. We have hundreds of events in this restaurant every year and have to reorganize and change the layout of the tables and other furniture, but that table NEVER moves and hasn’t since he passed away in 2016.”
I pretty much fell in love with this golf course instantly. Not only is the course fantastic, but the history surrounding it and the history surrounding one of the greatest Tour events every year is hard to ignore.
On that visit to Bay Hill in 2018, I got to check out the winner’s plaque on the wall. That was shortly after Rory McIlroy won the event with a score of -18. The plaque revealed that there have only been seven golfers to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational multiples times:
- Jerry Heard: 1972 & 1974
- Gary Kock: 1977 & 1984
- Tom Kite: 1982 & 1989
- Loren Robert: 1994 & 1995
- Ernie Els: 1988 & 2010
- Matt Every: 2014 & 2015
- Tiger Woods: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012, & 2013
That’s right…eight times. Tiger has won this event eight times! Next closest competitor? Two. Amazing!
A Quick Look at the Course
This year’s tournament will play as a par 72, at a total length of 7381 yards. Below are some dramatic holes to pay attention to during the coverage:
Hole Two: Par 3 & 231 Yards
A long par 3 with a green that runs away diagonally from the players on the tee box, the pin is normally tucked between two bunkers so it creates a demanding show that the players have to make sure they have the right yardage on.
Hole Six: Par 5 & 555 Yards
Now made famous by Bryson DeChambeau after last season's victory, he carried the lake and turned this par 5 into a par 4. Check out his driver from last season which carried 382 yards—that’s almost a quarter mile, for reference!
Hole Seventeen: Par 3 & 221 Yards
A great par 3 with water short and another green that runs diagonally away from the players, at 221 yards, it is also demanding. With the tournament potentially on the line, there are sure to be fireworks on this hole come Sunday!
Hole Eighteen: Par 4 & 458 yards
The classic 18th hole at Bay Hill is part of the reason this tournament is so memorable. The green sets up as a natural amphitheater and provides a great scene for the 72nd hole of the tournament. We have seen some great moments from Tiger during his eight wins on this hole, and there are sure to be some memorable moments from this week’s tournament as well!
A Look at This Year’s Field
Enough reminiscing! Let’s take a look at this year’s field and who the Vegas oddsmakers are favoring. This year’s field is comprised of 120 players and maybe the strongest field of the 2022 PGA Tour season so far with tons of Top 25 golfers playing—Rahm, Hovland, McIlroy, Scheffler, Matsuyama, Hatton, Casey, Fleetwood, Zalatoris, and Adam Scott to name a few. Unfortunately, the defending Champion Bryson DeCahmbeau was forced to withdraw from the field on Tuesday this week, citing a wrist injury that he is trying to recover from. However, both 2020 and 2019’s champions Tyrell Hatton and Francesco Molinari are playing this week for a title defense.
A look at the bet-making odds shows Jon Rahm (+800) as the favorite this week. His 2022 season has started off somewhat slow—he had a solo 2nd at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open, but yet to stamp his name on a trophy since capturing the U.S. Open last summer.
The other odds-on favorites for the week include Rory McIlroy (+1200), Viktor Hovland (+1600), Scottie Scheffler (+200), Hideki Matsuyama (+2500), and Will Zalatoris (+2800). I personally like Rahm and Zalatoris this week. We saw Will explode to the top of the golfing world with his amazing 2nd place finish at last year's Masters, and I think he is due for a win!
Stay tuned for Monday's recap article that includes a quick peek inside the bag of the Winner of The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill!
If you have any questions or want to build out your bag like a pro, reach out to me or another Golf Expert here on Curated!