Arnold Palmer Invitational Trend Research

The PGA Tour continues its Florida swing with a trip to Bay Hill Club and Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. As an invitational, the field is shortened to 123 golfers. I will have a full event preview with my betting card posted later in the week. There are some interesting trends for the API this week that are worth considering. This is a reminder that trends exist in hindsight and are most likely not predictive, so I wouldn’t recommend betting on golfers solely because they fit into a trend.

Trend: The last 9 winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational have recorded a T25 or better finish in one of their three most recent appearances at the event.

Trend: 7 of the last 9 winners have recorded a T5 or better finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at one point in their career.

Trend: 7 of the last 10 winners were ranked inside the Top 40 Official World Golf Rankings heading into the week that they won.

Let’s look at the last 9 winners and what they have done at API prior to their victory.

Former Winners

Tyrrell Hatton (2020)Hatton had played this event three times prior to his victory, finishing: 29th, 69th, and 4th.

Francesco Molinari (2019) – Molinari had played this event six times prior to his victory, finishing: 26th, 7th, 9th, 17th, 5th, and 34th.

Rory McIlroy (2018) – Rory had played this event three times prior to his victory, finishing: 4th, 27th, and 11th.

Marc Leishman (2017) – Leishman had played this event seven times prior to his victory, finishing: 17th, MC, 31st, MC, 48th, 3rd, and 40th

Jason Day (2016) – Day had played this event five times prior to his victory, finishing: 17th, 45th, 25th, WD, and MC.

Matt Every (2015) –Every had played this event five times prior to his second victory, finishing: 1st, 34th, 24th, MC, and 52nd.

Matt Every (2014) – Every had played this event four times prior to his victory, finishing: 34th, 24th, MC, and 52nd.

Tiger Woods (2013) – Tiger has dominated this event in his career, prior to this victory he had finishes of: 1st, 24th, 1st, 1st, 22nd, 20th, 23rd, 46th, and 1st.

Tiger Woods (2012) – Prior to his 2012 victory, Tiger had finishes of: 24th, 1st, 1st, 22nd, 20th, 23rd, 46th, and 1st.

2021 API Field

            When you look at the first trend, there are 49 golfers in the field this year who have recorded a T25 or better finish in one of their three most recent appearances. That doesn’t narrow down the field that much, so I won’t include all 49 golfers. If you are looking at a golfer and are curious if they’ve met that first trend, send me a tweet and I’ll let you know!

            When you combine the first two trends, (T25 in last 3 appearances + T5 or better in their career), the field is narrowed down to 23 golfers. Here is a list of those golfers:

  • Rory McIlroy – Last three appearances have been: 5th, 6th, 1st. Rory has played this event six times with three top 5 finishes.
  • Francesco Molinari – Last three appearances have been: 1st, 26th, 7th. He didn’t play last year, and has four T10s at this event in his career.
  • Bryson DeChambeau – His last three appearances have been: 4th, 46th, and 2nd.
  • Sungjae Im – Im has played this event twice in his career with back-to-back 3rd place finishes
  • Henrik Stenson – Stenson’s last three appearances have been: MC, 17th, and 4th. He has played this event twelve times with four T5 finishes.
  • Adam Hadwin – Hadwin has played this event three times with finishes of: 33rd, 6th, and 36th (he didn’t play in 2020 or 2018).
  • Keith Mitchell – Mitchell has played this event twice with finishes of 5th and 6th place.
  • Jason Day – Day’s last three appearances have been WD, 22nd, and 23rd. Day won this event in 2016.
  • Tommy Fleetwood – Fleetwood’s last three appearances have been: MC, 3rd, and 26th. He also added a T10 in 2017.
  • Marc Leishman – Leishman’s last three appearances have been 2nd, 23rd, and 7th. Leishman won this event in 2017.
  • Tyrrell Hatton – Hatton’s three most recent appearances have been: 1st, 29th, and 69th. He recorded a 4th place finish in 2017.
  • Jason Kokrak – Kokrak’s last three appearances have been: 18th, 10th, and MC. He finished 4th in 2014.
  • Matt Jones – Jones last three appearances have been: 47th, MC, and 3rd (he did not play from 2017-2019).
  • Justin Rose – Rose’s last three appearances have been: MC, 63rd, and 3rd. Rose has played this event 15 times, and has 5 T5 finishes.
  • Rickie Fowler -Fowler’s last three appearances have been 18th, 40th, and 14th. Fowler finished 3rd in 2013.
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick’s last three appearances have been: 9th, 2nd, and MC.
  • Graeme McDowell – McDowell’s las three appearances have been: 32nd, 54th, and 22nd. McDowell has two runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2012.
  • Pat Perez – Perez’s last three appearances have been: MC, 50th, and 17th. Perez finished 4th in 2009.
  • Danny Lee – Lee’s last three appearances have been: 5th, MC, MC.
  • Kevin Kisner – Kisner’s last three appearances have been: MC, 23rd, and MC. He finished 2nd in 2017.
  • Ian Poulter – Poulter’s last three appearances have been: 32nd, 23rd, and 41st. Poulter finished 3rd in 2012.
  • Charly Hoffman – Hoffman’s last three appearances have been: 13th, MC, and 14th. Hoffman finished 2nd in 2017.
  • Joel Dahmen – Dahmen has played this event twice finishing 5th and MC.

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