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Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bay Hill’s last 4 holes will separate greatest from the remaining

The PGA Tour returns to Bay Hill Club & Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the fourth Signature Event of the 2024 Season. This week’s field is loaded, but so is the golf course, which is loaded with trouble. Water comes into play on nine holes, and if the wind picks it up, it turns

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bay Hill’s last 4 holes will separate greatest from the remaining

The PGA Tour returns to Bay Hill Membership & Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the fourth Signature Occasion of the 2024 Season.

This week’s subject is loaded, however so is the golf course, which is loaded with hassle.

Water comes into play on 9 holes, and if the wind picks it up, it turns Bay Hill right into a U.S. Open-like environment.

Since 2020, just one winner has completed double-digits underneath par. Bryson DeChambeau did so in 2021, taking pictures 11-under for the week to win by one.

Therefore, mitigating errors is paramount. However to do this, gamers should discover the golf green off the tee to succeed at Arnie’s Place.

“I feel there’s a premium on driving the golf ball within the fairway, and I feel you need to play actually good round this place,” Patrick Cantlay mentioned Tuesday.

“There are some actually difficult gap places, and in the event you get out of place, it’s actually necessary to get the ball to the proper spot if you wish to have an opportunity at scoring. It’s positively one of many tougher stops on Tour.”

With temperatures within the mid-80s all week and wind gusts swirling as much as 20-25 miles per hour, this course will solely get tougher because the championship wears on.

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That ought to entertain golf followers in every single place.

Understanding this, let’s discover the ultimate 4 holes at Bay Hill, which is able to play a pivotal function in figuring out the winner:

Gap 15 – Par 4, 467 Yards

Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

Rory McIlroy expresses frustration after hitting his tee-shot on the fifteenth gap on the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Photograph by Michael Reaves/Getty Pictures

After Bay Hill kicks gamers within the mouth for 14 holes, you arrive on the tough par-4 fifteenth gasping for air. However the fifteenth presents little reprieve—very similar to the remainder of the golf course.

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Final yr, this dogleg proper par-4 ranked because the third most difficult gap throughout the event. It requires a 250-yard carry over a bunker on the nook of the dogleg, as the golf green narrows considerably past the lure.

On the 300-yard mark off the tee, the golf green is simply 21 yards extensive, leaving little or no room for error. Magnolia bushes on both aspect make the goal look smaller than it seems, making this one of the crucial tough driving holes on the property.

Gamers will then face a second shot right into a inexperienced protected by three sand traps.

Two guard the entrance of the inexperienced, whereas the third sits to the again and left.

The placing floor is considerably difficult. It typically slopes from again to entrance, however it has refined mounds on the entrance left and entrance proper that may trigger suits. A big drop off to the left of the inexperienced—between the 2 bunkers—may even acquire any pulled tee-shot. The left aspect of this inexperienced typically slopes in that route as effectively.

Anybody making a 4 right here will go away the fifteenth glad.

Gap 16 – Par 5, 511 Yards

Adam Scott, PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Adam Scott takes a drop after hitting it into the water on the par-5 sixteenth gap throughout the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Photograph by Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour by way of Getty Pictures

In the course of the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational, extra gamers made birdie on the par-5 sixteenth than not. This gap is without doubt one of the best on the PGA Tour, because it performed practically a half-stroke underneath par final yr.

However weirdly, this gap creates extra strain for the participant.

Tour professionals anticipate to make a birdie-four right here, which heightens the strain late within the spherical, particularly down the stretch on Sunday. Ought to they fail to make birdie right here, they’re primarily shedding a stroke to the remainder of the sphere.

The sixteenth at Bay Hill doglegs to the proper, however not as severely because the robust par-4 fifteenth.

Two bunkers sit on both aspect of the golf green roughly 300 yards from the teeing floor, and solely the massive bombers can clear them. To hold the lure on the proper, a 345-yard carry is required.

However discovering this fairway is essential to creating birdie right here. It’s about 34 yards extensive on the 300-yard mark, an expansive fairway by Bay Hill requirements.

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Then, gamers may have a mid-to-long iron right into a inexperienced protected by three sand traps and water.

The water comes into play way more so on the left aspect, as a pond will acquire something pulled. However a stream that flows into that pond runs about 25 yards in need of the inexperienced. Any mishit quick will discover the water, too.

Gap 17 – Par 3, 221 Yards

Bay Hill, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard

The seventeenth gap at Bay Hill.
Photograph by Chris Condon/PGA Tour

The penultimate gap at Arnie’s Place is an absolute brute.

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A large ‘seaside bunker’ protects this kidney-shaped inexperienced, whereas a stream gently meanders across the again proper portion of it.

The pond in entrance of the big bunker shouldn’t come into play, though a horrible mishit may find yourself there.

Two different sand traps sit beside this inexperienced: one to the entrance left, and one to the again left.

However the beauty of this beautiful gap is that gamers tee off from an elevated tee, giving them an unbelievable view of this par-3. It additionally serves as a bonus, because the participant can probably hit one membership down as an alternative of mustering the complete 220-yard shot.

Nonetheless, whoever finds this inexperienced off the tee will probably be happy.

The inexperienced primarily slopes from again to entrance, in direction of the seaside bunker, and in addition in direction of the entrance left portion of the inexperienced.

Gap 18 – Par 4, 458 Yards

PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

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The 18th gap at Bay Hill.
Photograph by Sam Greenwood/Getty Pictures

No gap carries extra status at Bay Hill than its finisher, the robust par-4 18th.

Absolutely, you’ve got seen the highlights of Tiger Woods eliciting large fist-pumps on this boomerang-shaped inexperienced.

However this gap has a lot extra to it than its placing floor, which slopes severely in direction of the pond it’s formed round.

The tee shot is fairly simple.

Out-of-bounds lurks down the left aspect, however a participant will solely re-load in the event that they actually pull their tee shot.

Thick, gnarly tough runs down either side of the golf green. The massive pond that sits by the inexperienced comes into play 330 yards from the tee field on the right-hand aspect, however gamers not often attain the water with their drives.

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Like most holes at Bay Hill, discovering the golf green is essential right here. A lay-up to the left will probably ensue if a participant misses it. The tough that strains this fairway won’t permit a shot to hold the water onto the inexperienced.

The second shot can’t be missed quick and proper, or it’ll discover the water or maybe even the rocks that line this inexperienced.

Three sand traps shield this inexperienced’s left and again sides, forcing the participant to select a slender goal.

It’s an unbelievable ending gap, one that may yield birdies. However double bogeys additionally lurk, making it one of many extra entertaining closing holes on the PGA Tour.

Tiger Woods, PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger Woods celebrates after making birdie on the 18th gap to win the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Photograph by Andy Lyons/Getty Pictures
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Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By means of. You’ll want to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You possibly can comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko as effectively.

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