Arnold Palmer Invitational – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida
7,419 yards – Par 72 – TifEagle Bermudagrass Greens

Tournament Stimpmeter: 12 ft. … Average Speed
Green Sizes: 6,500 sq. feet … Average Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: 454 … Stronger than Average
Course Architect: Dick Wilson & Joe Lee (1961); Arnold Palmer (2009)

Fairways Hit (Field Average): 65% … Easier Fairway Difficulty
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): 63.4% … Average GIR Ease
Driving Distance (Field Average): 277 yards … 7th Shortest Driving Distance (Non-Majors)
Course Difficulty (Relative to Par): +0.63 … Harder than Average Course (Very difficult when wind picks up)

Tournament Angles

#1 Florida Courses
#2 Less-than-Driver Courses
#3 Fast Greens
#4 Par 72 Courses
#5 Long Courses
#6 Strong Field
#7 Bermuda Greens

Previous Winners

2015: Matt Every -19 over Henrik Stenson -18
2014: Matt Every -13 over Keegan Bradley -12
2013: Tiger Woods -13 over Justin Rose -11
2012: Tiger Woods -13 over Graeme McDowell -8
2011: Martin Laird -8 over Steve Marino -7
2010: Ernie Els -11 over Edoardo Molinari, Kevin Na -9

54-Hole Leaders

2015: Henrik Stenson -16
2014: Adam Scott -15
2013: Tiger Woods -11
2012: Tiger Woods -11
2011: Martin Laird -11
2010: Ernie Els -10

36-Hole Leaders

2015: Morgan Hoffmann -13
2014: Adam Scott -14
2013: Justin Rose, Bill Haas -9
2012: Tiger Woods, Charlie Wi -10
2011: Martin Laird -9
2010: Ernie Els, Ben Curtis, DJ Trahan, Davis Love III -7

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Because last year you came in and you had a really impressive showing, too. Anything in particular about this, something kicks in? Is it the layout or just — it’s hard to put your finger on but what about this place there really gets a guy going?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:
You know, this course, you got opportunity from the player that has the length, all par 5 you can reach [in] 2, then I just like the greens. I mean I putted so well this week, no 3-putt at all in the score. -2016

Q. What is it about this golf course that you like so much?
HENRIK STENSON:
It suits my game, position off the tee. Got to hit it in the fairway and play some good iron shots and when I’m playing well I seem to do that. So, that kind sets up a lot of birdie chances and my putter has been working really nicely these couple of days and some of the previous years as well apparently. So, it’s a good golf course for me and it’s a home week as well. It’s nice to sleeping at home and staying at home. –2016

Q. What is it about this course that kind of suits your game or kind of fits your eyeball? You always seem to play well every time you come here.
What is it about this course?
HENRIK STENSON:
Lot of mid-to-long irons both on par 3s and into the par 4s and also on the par 5s a lot of times you got long irons and that’s one of the strengths of my game when I’m playing well, I hit good mid-to-long irons and that’s what you got to do around here to give yourself birdie chances. It’s a good course for me in that sense. The same as last week in Tampa, really. It’s two good weeks for me. -2016

Q. Great to see 69 today. How much of this performance comes down that you actually love this course?
PAUL CASEY:
I do. You know, I was very fortunate to gain a couple of invites through Mr. Palmer in my career. I’ve always loved this golf course. It’s a golf course I thoroughly enjoy. It fits my eye. I love it and it’s certainly a challenge a week which I’m enjoying. -2016

Q. Thoughts on the course with the new grasses. Looks like it’s in great shape.
HENRIK STENSON:
Absolutely the best I’ve ever seen. Really happy they went through the hardship changing it up and it’s definitely paid off. In beautiful condition and the rough is pretty juicy and the greens are running pure. Really nice to play. -2016

Q. What do you like about this golf course?
IAN POULTER:
I think there’s a good mixture of holes. Obviously the 5s lend themselves to the longer hitters but then again you’ve got other key holes in the golf course, positional holes, hitting 3-wood off the tee, hit some hybrids to get in position.
Puts it into my game which I’ve done pretty well this year with the short iron in hand. I can compete against the big boys around the place. -2015

Q. What’s the key shot on the golf course? Is it a driver’s course, second shot course, putter’s course?
JASON KOKRAK:
I think you got to keep it — in I think it’s a second-shot golf course. If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to hit a mid-to-low iron into the green out there it’s a tough golf course. -2015

Q. Final thing, I mentioned you had some success here. What is it about Bay Hill that you like?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:
Honestly, no idea. I play in Florida. I seem to really drive the ball well here which is the most important thing at Bay Hill. -2015

Q. You’ve got a pretty impressive track record here the last few years. Anything you attribute that to?
HENRIK STENSON:
It’s a course where you can’t get away with playing only decent, you got to play pretty well around here. Quite a lot of shots, especially towards the end when you got to commit and hit some good shots coming in and ball striking is normally one of my strong parts. -2015

Q. Two different questions. First of all, how many drivers are you hitting a round?
HENRIK STENSON:
I think I only hit one today. Yeah, it’s not too many drivers. I’d say possibly hit two, three but it depends on the wind. A few of the holes kind of what lines you want to take. It’s not a course where I hit a lot of drivers, definitely not. -2015

Q. When did you move to Orlando and which area of town do you live in?
HENRIK STENSON:
Lake Nona past the airport there. Very convenient to have the airport around the corner and especially then we can, of course, have a home game here. Drive to quite a few of the events in Florida. -2015

Q: This is Billy’s 3rd start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Obviously the 2014 FedExCup Champion and former University of Florida golf team member. So, right up there in Gainesville.
So, with that, before we take any questions, if you want to just talk about coming back here for your 4th start and outlook on this week.
BILLY HORSCHEL:
It’s always a pleasure to come back. I grew up about an hour away over in Melbourne, Florida. Not far for family and friends to come watch me.
I remember coming to this event as a kid and watching it. When I was in high school they had a little gig where we come and caddy for the amateurs in the Pro-Am. -2015

Q. How much fun is this for you to play this event in basically your adopted home town Orlando and play in front of Mr. Palmer?
IAN POULTER:
I mean it’s always nice being a MasterCard Ambassador as well. It’s nice to sleep at home. Got a lot of home support here, guys have flown in to watch me play. Mum is coming in on Saturday. Hopefully we have a nice tee off time where we can all have a nice time on Sunday. -2015

Q. You grew up about an hour from here in Daytona Beach. You used to come here as a child. What does it mean to you that this event is your first win?
MATT EVERY:
It’s really cool. I’ve been close. I got a ton of looks. And I kept telling me maybe it’s going to be somewhere special, you know. This is really cool that?? I still can’t believe it. -2014

Q. Having played this course many times with your grandfather, and been around this, are you comfortable in these surroundings?
SAM SAUNDERS:
You know, today I was as comfortable or more comfortable than I’ve ever felt at this stage, in this arena.
I played the golf course today more like I play it on a week-in, week-out basis at home. I had fun out there and hit some good shots. The greens are just so fast. You really have to pick and choose your places to be aggressive. And it’s near impossible to go around this place without making a bogey or slip up somewhere. -2014

MARK STEVENS: Like to welcome Graeme McDowell. You just got done playing the course. If you want to talk a little bit about the course conditions, your thoughts coming into this week and then we’ll take a few questions.
GRAEME McDOWELL:
The course is in magnificent shape. Nice amount of rough. I heard a comment to where Arnie kind of wants it to play as a U.S. Open off the tee and Augusta-esque around the greens. And I can see what he’s trying to achieve. The greens, like I say on Sunday, the firmness and the speed of the greens was very Augusta-esque with these new runoff areas that he’s created the last few years. The golf course is pretty tight off the tee. Nice amount of rough.
I’ve always enjoyed the way the golf course sets up for me. I’ve had a couple of good years here. Basically it’s my home event these days. Used to be the Irish Open was my home event, this is home these days. So it’s a special tournament for me. -2014

All quotes are from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

Junior Golf at Bay Hill:

2008 Boys Junior Championship: (Pre-Cut)(Final Results)
2007 Boys Junior Championship: (Pre-Cut)(Final Results)
2006 Boys Junior Championship: (Pre-Cut)(Final Results)
2005 Boys Junior Championship: (Pre-Cut)(Final Results)
2004 Boys Junior Championship: (Pre-Cut)(Final Results)

Tournament Notes:

2015: Bay Hill’s greens suffered worm damage prior to the 2015 edition. They did the best they could to make them playable, but they couldn’t avoid the shagginess which led to slower rolling speeds. This decreased the 2015 field average scoring dramatically (making it easier). Golfers could talk aggressive lines on their approach shots without the fear of runoffs and could also lag their putts with aggression, without the fear of running it by the hole 8 to 10 feet.

Jason Kokrak summed it up by saying, “Obviously the greens are softer and slower than they have been in the past so you can actually be a little bit more aggressive with your shots into the greens. You don’t have to absolutely leave it below the hole to give yourself a real good look at birdie.”

The greens were replaced with TifEagle bermudagrass immediately following the 2015 API, and will still be in their infancy for the 2016 running of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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