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Golf best bets: 3 props for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

The best players on the PGA Tour are back this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Bay Hill is always one of the toughest non-major tests on the schedule, and we might be in store for some carnage this weekend with strong winds in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. 

In what should be a complete test of golf, we want to target supreme ball strikers who can stay out of trouble an give themselves as many birdie looks as possible. With that in mind, here are our three favorite props for the API.

Xander Schauffele > Viktor Hovland (+105 DraftKings)

For our favorite matchup of the week, we’re rolling with the consistent Xander Schauffele over the struggling Viktor Hovland. Schauffele has finished T10 or better in four of his five starts this season, while Hovland has played only three times in 2024 and hasn’t finished better than T19. The Norweigan also withdrew from the WM Phoenix Open last month because he wasn’t comfortable with his swing. 

Bay Hill could mimic U.S. Open conditions this week with its firm and fast greens and thick rough, and that’s when Schauffele excels. The American has gained strokes off the tee and on approach in eight of his last 10 starts, as well. He shouldn’t be an underdog in this matchup. 

Matt Fitzpatrick top-20 finish (+105 FanDuel)

Matt Fitzpatrick hasn’t looked in sync to start the 2024 season, but he gained strokes in all four major categories at last week’s Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches en route to a T21 finish. Now he gets to play a golf course he’s absolutely dominated in the past.

In his last four starts at Bay Hill, Fitzpatrick has finished T14, T9, T10, T9 and solo second. The Englishman loves firm, challenging golf courses (as evidenced by his U.S. Open victory in 2022), and he’s always been a great putter on Bermuda grass. Fitzpatrick showed some signs of life last week in his return to Florida, and he should be able to improve upon that finish at one of his favorite golf courses.

Will Zalatoris top-10 finish (+280 FD)

Willy Z is officially back, folks.

After three rusty performances in his return from back surgery, Zalatoris broke out with a T13 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T2 at The Genesis Invitational. The American ranked fifth in the field in strokes gained on approach at Riviera, which is a sign that he’s already back to his elite ball-striking ways. 

Zalatoris plays his best golf on tougher golf courses. The firm conditions and wind at Bay Hill will weed out the pretenders, but Zalatoris can avoid the blowup with his stellar off-the-tee and approach game. The 27-year-old has also gained strokes putting in three straight starts, and that’s always been the club that holds him back from contending. 

Source: yardbaker