The PGA Tour continues its Florida swing this week with the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Read on to see my prediction for who will win the tournament, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and player to fade predictions.
Winner: Matthew Fitzpatrick- Fitzpatrick has been playing some solid golf recently, finishing in the top 20 in 4 of his last 5 worldwide starts, capped off with a win at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Fitzpatrick is also coming off back to back top 10 finishes in this tournament, including a runner up finish in 2019. Lastly, this event has been won by a different international player each of the last 5 years and I believe Fitzpatrick will make it 6 in a row come Sunday.
Top 10: Francesco Molinari- Molinari has quietly seen a resurgence in his game this season, finishing in the top 10 in 3 of his last 4 starts to go along with only 2 missed cuts in 7 starts. Molianri has fared well in this event throughout the years, making the cut all 7 times he has played here and finishing in the top 10 4 times, including a win in 2019. All of this leads me to believe that Molinari can finish in the top 10 here yet again.
Dark horse: Kyle Stanley- Stanley has stealthily been appearing on leaderboards lately, making 8 of his last 9 cuts and finishing between 25th and 45th place 5 of those times. Stanley has had past success at Bay Hill though, with 3 top 20 results in his last 5 starts in this event. Stanley will have a strong chance of snagging a top 30 finish by week’s end.
Player to fade: Jordan Spieth-Spieth has had an amazing career resurgence, finishing T-4, T-5, and T-15 in his last 3 starts after struggling with his game for a long time. Spieth is making his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard this year. As strong as Spieth has been of late, I fear there will be too many learning curves that come with a new course for him to overcome. If Spieth makes the cut in his debut, I can’t see him being a realistic threat to win. Spieth will be lucky to finish in the top 35.