March 5th – 8th, 2019
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,454
Purse: $9.3 million with $1,674,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Francesco Molinari
Rory McIlroy starts at 5/1 favourite but all eyes will be on Tommy Fleetwood at 14/1 to see if he can ram Paul Azinger’s inflammatory comments about him and the European Tour down his throat.
An educated bet for the brave punters in the win only market is Hideki Matsuyama who is available at 20/1 with some bookies. He’s been middle order in his last three visits to Bay Hill and his best result of T6 was back in 2016. BUT this guy is in form and primed to win. Rested and off a T6 in Mexico and T5 at The Genesis, scoring well on Sundays and has only been outside the top-20 twice in 10 season starts.
Doc’s Top 5 Each Way Bets
Bryson DeChambeau 20/1
Everybody is talking about DeChambeau’s new found distance off the tee, but it’s his irons and par-3 scoring that really are on fire. Solo 2nd in Mexico with a T3 in the GIR stats, T5 at The Genesis, with a similar T5 in the GIR stats. Runner-up when Rory McIlroy won by three here in 2018 and comes in rested having skipped what turned out to a brutal week at The Honda.
Henrik Stenson 40/1
Maybe this one is more of a gut feeling than anything else but I cannot leave the Iceman off my betslip at Bay Hill. Since winning the Hero Challenge in December, Henrik has had leisurely walks in Dubai and Saudi Arabia and time off since. But he’s an Orlando resident and knows Bay Hill like the back of hand. Course management is key on a course with 108 bunkers, water on half the holes and which played 9th toughest on Tour in 2019. With five top-10’s from his last seven starts here, there’s a lot of guys wish they had Henrik’s yardage book this week.
Byeong Hun An 40/1
Sungjae Im winning last week at The Honda is sure to have given fellow South Korean Byeong Hun An added impetus to show what he’s got this week. Ben finished T4 at PGA National to go with a T9 in Scottsdale and some excellent tee to green form of late. Has improved his finish (T49, T19, T10) on his last three visits to Bay Hill and looks a good shot at a place return this week.
Marc Leishman 40/1
Yes Marc Leishman is as streaky as a rasher and infuriatingly proved so with middle order finishes in Mexico and Riviera after winning The Farmers. He is a past champion however at Bay Hill from 2017 (and has two other top-10’s), the first staging after Mr Palmer’s passing, and a super performance like that lives long in the memory and boosts the confidence. If the course plays tough, and the wind is a factor as forecast, Leishman will be right up there.
Tyrrell Hatton 50/1
Came back in Mexico after a wrist injury layoff and picked up right where he left off in 2019 with an incredible T6 finish. Hatton now has 5 top-20’s in his last 6 starts including a win in Turkey and he’ll be raring to go this week. Underrated in the wind, Tyrrell is set to emulate his best of T4 here in 2017.
Long Odds Glory Shots
Kevin Kisner 80/1 usually plays strong in March and has solid form coming in.
Brendan Steele is quoted at 80/1 or better this week and comes in off a T4 at The Honda to go with a solo second at The Sony Open.
Wyndham Clark is also 80/1 and has gone T18, T17, T11 in his last three starts but making his debut at Bay Hill will be tough.