The top five beginning their final rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational all have varying track-records at this event. With just three shots between them all, who goes into Sunday’s showdown with the best chance?
1 | Henrik Stenson | (-12)
He’s never won this event but Stenson does have a solo second to Matt Every’s 19-under in 2015, where he finished just one shot back. If you take last year’s missed cut anomaly out of the equation, Stenson has four consecutive top 10s from 2013 through to 2016. Prior to that his record reads tied 15th, tied 47th, tied 52nd and tied 22nd: a mixed bunch.
Final-round average: 71.75
He doesn’t get on too well on Sundays, though, given that impressive record. In all of those top 10 finishes he only broke 70 once, in 2014, and in 2010 collapsed to tied 52nd on Sunday with a 77. He does have a lead at the top, but it’s only a single shot and you feel he will have to shoot in the 60s today if he is to take the title.
2 | Bryson DeChambeau | (-11)
There’s not much to say about DeChambeau. He’s only entered here once, in 2016, and finished a fairly modest tied 27th, nine shots off the lead.
Final-round average: 66
DeChambeau’s final-round record at Bay Hill is impressive on the surface. But, as aforementioned, he’s only entered here once; so it’s not much of an ‘average’. Don’t read into that 66 too much but he clearly won’t have bad memories of Sundays here.
3 | Rory McIlroy | (-10)
In three starts McIlroy has always left here with a decent return – especially his tied fourth last year. In a barren year his performance last time out would have been one of the few highlights. Before that came a tied 27th in 2016 and tied 11th in 2015.
Final-round average: 68
You can probably read into McIlroy’s Sunday efforts a bit more. His worst final-round score is a 70 in 2015 and his average is in a very prosperous state. Eliminating DeChambeau’s indistinct average, if all were to shoot their Sunday average here then McIlroy would come out on top.
T4 | Justin Rose | (-9)
Rose is by far the most experienced Arnold Palmer Invitational-er in the top five with 12 appearances here. His success is another mixed bag. He has four top 10s, including a second in 2013 and tied third in 2011. There are a further two top 20s, two top 30s and two missed cuts on his Bay Hill CV.
Final-round average: 72.6
Sundays and Justin Rose don’t seem to go hand-in-hand at this event. In the 10 times he’s made it to the final round he’s only broke 70 twice. Further, when he first started, between 2003 and 2005, his final rounds were somewhat of a disaster with a 76, 75 and then 79. If that is anything to go by, Rose will not be winning today.
T4 | Ryan Moore | (-9)
Of all in this list Moore is perhaps the only with unfavourable form at this event. There’s been just one top 10 and two top 20s in eight Bay Hill starts, two of those were missed cuts, too. Along with 2012’s tied fourth, this year is out of the ordinary for Moore.
Final-round average: 72.66
It’s not great reading for Moore’s Sunday average either. With no scores in the 60s, one 70 and everything else 73 or above, Moore’s average is the worst in this list. I can’t see a challenge coming from him today.
The final rounds are just underway and if the facts and stats above are to prove true, keep a close eye on Rory McIlroy.