Arnold Palmer Invitational – Sleepers and DraftKings Picks
Arnold Palmer Invitational Weekly Fantasy Golf Preview
The tour enters its final week of the Florida swing with the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the most eagerly anticipated tournaments of the year. This year sees a stellar line up with all of the world’s top five players entering, including of course, world number one Rory McIlroy.
If this tournament matches up to the previous events in Florida this year we are in for a treat. The swing started with a shock win for Padraig Harrington over Daniel Berger in a playoff at the Honda Classic, followed by a late charge from Dustin Johnson at the WGC Cadillac Championship in an event dominated by J.B.Holmes till Sunday and perhaps best of all the 3 way playoff at the Valspar Championship where Jordan Spieth held off both Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair in a playoff.
Eight Picks and a few Sleepers for Arnold Palmer Fantasy Golf
Bubba Watson – It would be fair to say that Bubba Watson has done everything but win so far this year. He finished third last time out and tied for 2nd three tournaments ago and his worst tournament finish this year has been 25th. With the defense of his Masters title just a few weeks away, Watson’s game looks in fine shape and it would be a big surprise if he is not in the mix here come Sunday afternoon. Watson is officially the second best player in the world and for the first time in his career he is carrying himself like he deserves to be there.
Henrik Stenson – Stenson played his first tournament in the US of the year just two weeks ago with a fine top 5 finish at WGC Cadillac Championship. He carried this form on last week at the Valspar Championship with another top 5 and looks primed and ready to compete this week. Having had over a month off previous to these two weeks, for me this is the perfect week to pick Stenson, as he’ll still be relatively fresh. Top 10 finishes here in the last two years strengthen the pick further.
Rickie Fowler – Fowler won’t be particularly pleased with his year so far, with finishes of 66th, 46th, 61st, 41st and 12th. However we can see some positive progression there, so he’ll feel a little better about his game right now. Fowler knows how to play this course, as evidenced by his joint 3rd here in 2013 and seems to perform to his best when playing against a high quality field, which this week certainly features.
Ian Poulter – Poulter has had a frustrating time of late, getting himself into contention and then falling away – a prime example of this being when he took a 7 late on in the Honda Classic, which left him no chance of winning. He has played solidly at this tournament recently (20th and 21st in last two years) and if he can keep his game together this week we might see Poulter in contention on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka – Koepka is a player who has suddenly pushed himself onto the top table of world golf, his self-confidence such that he expects to contend every week. Having won on tour already this year, Koepka is ranked 18th in the world and I’d be very surprised if it was this low at the end of the year. Koepka played here last year and finished tied 26th, but improved as the week went on, his final round 69 one of the best of the day.
Brandt Snedeker – Snedeker is a difficult player to pinpoint as he has the ability to be both very good and very bad on any given week. However in daily fantasy sports this is not always a bad thing. Snedeker has won already this year (at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am) after having a relatively poor 2014. He finished in the top ten at this tournament last year, but easily missed the cut the year before – another indicator of his inconsistency. This pick is a gamble, but don’t be amazed if he actually wins on Sunday.
Daniel Summerhays (sleeper) – This pick is a very simple one and it’s all about his tournament progression. The last 6 tournaments have seen the following finishes – MC, MC, 45th, 30th, 17th and 10th. If you want a player whose form is heading in the right direction, look no further than Summerhays (although you may have to wait a couple of weeks for a win, as I’m expecting a 5th place finish this week!).
Justin Thomas (sleeper) – Thomas is having a real mixed year so far. He has already missed two weekends of golf, however also has three top ten finishes on his resume. He finished well as the Valspar Championship last week with a 68 which will give him confidence heading into this week. Thomas is a player storming up the World Rankings, a year ago being 480th but now sitting at just 83rd, so is most definitely one to watch.
Note : With Rory McIlroy being in the field, it is difficult to ignore the world number one, however with such a high salary and relatively poor form, for me he offers no value this week.
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