Skip to main content

Fact Pack: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Boo Weekley
Getty Images

This week the PGA Tour heads to the home of The King, Bay Hill, for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A strong field will tee it up in Orlando, where weekend weather forecasts indicate an already long course could play even longer, with showers expected both Saturday and Sunday. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• With his runner-up finish in Tampa, Boo Weekley has now recorded three straight top-25 finishes, having also played well at both the Honda Classic (T-25) and Puerto Rico Open (T-8) earlier this month. The last time the veteran was able to string together three straight such results was nearly three years ago, when he finished T-25 at Bay Hill in March 2010, followed by a T-12 showing at Hilton Head and a tie for 10th in New Orleans.

• Players have only two more events to make the top 50 in the world ranking in order to qualify for the Masters next month, which is of particular importance to Geoff Ogilvy. The Aussie, who was a runner-up at the Honda Classic earlier this month, was No. 51 in the world at the end of 2012, when a spot in the top 50 would have earned an invite to Augusta. Now Ogilvy is back on the bubble, ranked No. 50 heading into Bay Hill. Others hoping to play their way into Augusta this week and next via the rankings system include Charles Howell III (No. 57) and Henrik Stenson (No. 58).

• With four missed cuts and a withdrawal through seven starts in 2013, Brian Davis may not be on the fantasy radar for many participants. The Englishman has finished inside the top 25 each of the last three years at Bay Hill, though, including just last year. In fact, his 2012 season was off to a similarly slow start - Davis came to Orlando with only one top-30 finish in seven starts - but he managed a tie for fourth, his best career result in this event.

Bud Cauley returns this week to Bay Hill in hopes of ending his sophomore slump on a course where he has had past success. Just a year ago, Cauley was busy finishing tied for fourth, the first of four top-five finishes the former University of Alabama standout would accrue in 2012. This year, though, Cauley has struggled; through seven starts he has made only two cuts, and last week he was forced to withdraw in Tampa due to illness. The issues may be rooted in his short game; after finishing eighth on Tour in scrambling and 83rd in strokes gained putting last year, Cauley has dropped to 89th and 163rd, respectively, in those categories for 2013.

• Over the past two decades, Bob Estes has played sparingly at Bay Hill, but he has certainly made the most of his (relatively) few appearances. The veteran has teed it up just eight times in Orlando since 1994, but he converted five of those starts into top-20 finishes, including a runner-up in 1998 and a tie for fifth the following year. This year the Texan has been quietly consistent, notching four straight top-30 results before a missed cut last week in Tampa.