We move on from Nicklaus to Palmer as the PGA TOUR heads down to Orlando for the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. As an invitational, the field is set at a tighter-than-usual 120 players, making it just a bit more attainable for longshots to find their way through the cut this week.
Similar to last week, players will struggle to make birdies outside of the Par 5s on this long, nearly 7,500-yard course. We should expect a winning score around -12 or less depending on how much the wind decides to play a factor.
Whether playing Daily Fantasy or placing bets, it’s going to be an important week to nail down the right longshot/value plays. So with some help from DraftKings among other online sportsbooks, let’s get to our 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups and betting cards.
2022 ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PICKS | DFS VALUE PLAYS & BETTING LONGSHOTS FOR BAY HILL
The name of the game at Bay Hill is long irons, with about one out of every three approach shots coming from over 200 yards out.
While we’ve seen this event favor bombers like Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, and Jason Day over the years, it hasn’t prevented short game specialists like Marc Leishman, Francesco Molinari, or Tyrrell Hatton from enjoying similar success without a distance advantage.
All in all, it’s a good week to reference players with the best balance of Course History and Recent Form on courses that require strengths in OTT and Short Game. Smaller fields lend themselves to more risk-taking in DFS, as over 50% of the field is guaranteed to see the weekend, meaning there will be a higher percentage of 6-for-6 lineups.
From an API betting perspective, I’m looking to concentrate my exposure in the mid-range of the odds board. That said, I see some opportunity to take some chances on veterans in good form with good course history who have slipped down into the longshot range.
While Bryson DeChambeau stole the show last year, it may have flown under the radar that players like Richy Werenski, Andrew Putnam, Corey Conners, and Lee Westwood also found themselves inside the top-5 of the 2021 API, proving you don’t have to bomb and gouge this course to find success.
It’s a good time to identify elite specialists, either off the tee or in short game when looking for salary savers and longshots for this week’s tournament. These are my favorite longshot plays of the week for the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
*Betting odds & DFS pricing from Draft Kings are subject to change after writing. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.
Justin Rose (, $7,700)
A quick scan in Fantasy National of the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational won’t give you any info on Justin Rose, but anyone who held a ticket on Rose this time last year will be quick to tell you (or quick to change the subject) that Rose had a legitimate chance of winning this tournament before withdrawing with back spasms early into his Saturday round; he was 5-under par and four strokes off the lead going into the weekend.
At Bay Hill, it’s ideal if a player can gain strokes on the field in both Distance and Accuracy off the tee, as it’s especially difficult to hit these greens in regulation from the rough, unless you’ve given yourself a mid-iron or wedge in.
Rose has gained strokes on the field in both Driving Distance and Accuracy in each of his last four measured starts dating back to the RSM Classic and is one of just 13 players in this field to rate out top-50 in both Distance and Accuracy.
I’m partial to veterans with diverse Major experience and proven results at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, so I like the value here on Rose who enters with six top-15 finishes over his last nine API appearances.
Kevin Na (, $7,400)
I did not go into this tournament thinking I would like Kevin Na, and I really didn’t think I’d have much exposure to him after finishing up my Sunday research. But then pricing came out Monday, and everything changed.
Suddenly, Kevin Na, the 29th ranked golfer in the world and 14th highest-ranked golfer in this field has found himself in the low $7K and triple-digit odds range.
While Kevin Na is not the type of player that comes to mind when you think 7,400+ yards and Proximity 200+ premiums, he finds himself 7th in total strokes gained at Bay Hill in this field. Going all the way back to 2009, Na has played this event 11 times, missed the cut only twice, and has five finishes inside the top-15.
If you’re not going the bomber route, there is still an advantage to be had by fairway finders who can avoid the rough off the tee and lean on their short game to gain strokes on the field, which is a formula Na has repeated year over year at this event.
Over his last 12 starts, Na has two runner-ups at the Wyndham and John Deere Classic, as well as two asterisk wins at the QBE Shootout and TOUR Championship where he shared the low four-round score with Jon Rahm.
He’s only two events removed from a polished Thursday 61 at the Sony Open, so I have no concerns about the current form even after a MC in his last start at The Genesis.
Keegan Bradley (, $7,300)
As we dig even lower into the $7Ks on Draft Kings, it’s the cut-makers and high floor players I try to hone in on for salary relief, and Keegan Bradley would seen to have the best make-the-cut equity of anyone else down in this range.
The Jupiter, Florida resident seems to feel at home at this event, as over the last decade, Keegan has finished inside the top-50 a perfect nine out of nine times. In eight of those appearances, he’s gained at last three strokes tee-to-green, and in three of those instances, he’s finished inside the top-10.
Looking at the recent form, Bradley has made it through the cut in four consecutive events, highlighted by a T12 at the Sony Open. We all know by now not to expect much from his putter, but it’s still encouraging to see that he’s gained strokes tee-to-green in 26 of his last 29 starts.
He joins Rory McIlroy and Sungjae Im as the only three players this week to rank top-10 in both SG: T2G and Course History at Bay Hill.
Sebastian Munoz (, $7,000)
It will not take long for word to travel that Proximity 200+ is extremely important at Bay Hill, and it should not take much longer for people thereafter to realize that my boy, the Thursday GOAT, ranks sixth in this field in that category behind Rory McIlroy, Sungjae Im, Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama, and Jon Rahm.
Beyond the strengths with his long iron approaches, Munoz has gained over 8 strokes T2G in three of his last five starts. He ranks 12th in this field SG: T2G over the last 12 rounds, and 24th over a broader 50-round lookback.
Munoz has always been a streaky putter, which is what makes him such a lock to bet in the First Round Leader market every week, and the ice-cold putting streak over the last 10 events is really the only thing keeping him grounded at this $7,000 price on Draft Kings.
There are few people out there who follow Sebastian Munoz more closely on a week-to-week basis than me, so let me tell you this: the cold putting streak won’t last much longer, and a return to the Florida Swing is just what the doctor ordered.
This time last year, Munoz kicked off a stretch of seven consecutive events in which he gained strokes on the greens, so if he can just stay level to the field in putting, he stacks up well for a top-30 bid.
Danny Lee (, $6,300)
The recent results for Danny Lee are a very mixed bag, but somehow some way, he’s the only player in the $6K range on Draft Kings who I feel compelled to roster this week. His last seven starts include four MC’s, a T2 at the Bermuda Championship, T7 at Mayakoba, and a T21 in his last start at the Genesis Invitational.
But when we dip low into the $6K range in DFS or over 200-1 odds, we should accept the possibility of a low floor while looking for an opportunity to swing big for a high ceiling. That’s exactly what Lee, who may be the most volatile player on the PGA TOUR, offers.
In defense of Lee’s shoddy recent SG metrics, he lost 4.8 strokes on Approach on the Par 3 17th hole of the Stadium Course alone after making an 8 with multiple water balls. In fact, he missed the cut in each of the three rotating course set ups between the RSM Classic, The AmEx, and The Farmers.
He’s been holding out to play the same course for four days in a row, and I can’t blame him for that. The next chance he had to play the same course four straight days, he finished T21 at The Genesis Invitational against one of the strongest fields of the year, so I’m feeling as encouraged, as I guess Sepp Straka backers must have felt before the Honda when they saw his T15 at The Genesis.
In terms of API history, Lee’s is great with three finishes inside the top-20 over the last seven years, highlighted by a T5 here in 2020. He’s a dart throw at the bottom of the board, but I think there’s enough supporting evidence to suggest he can pay off his near-minimum price this week.