2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational: Top 10 Power Rankings at Bay Hill

Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, PGA Tour, FedEx Cup, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Rory McIlroy has never missed the cut in eight starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. In fact, he’s never fared worse than T-27th.

Bay Hill is the ideal track for McIlroy’s game. He’s a great driver who can avoid some of the trouble that lurks at Arnie’s course. Not to mention, McIlroy’s strong iron play allows him to gain ground on the field.

He lives in Jupiter, so putting on Bermuda grass is plenty familiar.

"“It’s one of these places where there’s a lot of holes where everyone just hits it in the same spots off the tee,” McIlroy was transcribed by ASAP Sports in 2021, “but then when you can give yourself an advantage by taking driver and getting it up there, tee shots like 3, tee shots like 6, where some of the shorter guys are having to go up the sliver of fairway up the right when longer guys don’t have to really worry about that.”"

McIlroy’s highlight at the API was his win in 2018. It’s too bad he didn’t get the honor of greeting Mr. Palmer on the 18th hole, as he passed away in 2016.

Winning here still meant a lot for someone who’s appreciative of golf history.

McIlroy’s never missed this event since 2015. This is his results record: T-11th, T-27th, T-4th, 1st, T-6th, T-5th, T-10th, T-13th.

Last year, he got off to a hot start and led after an opening 65. The tough conditions ultimately got the best of him as the Northern Irishman slid with 72-76-76.

McIlroy didn’t play terribly on the recent West Coast swing, but he can’t be too happy with T-32nd at the WM Phoenix Open and T-29th at the Genesis Invitational.

Fortunately, he doesn’t have to look too far further back to remember himself at the peak of his powers. McIlroy won earlier this year at the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic and also won late in 2022 at the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup.

He’s tops on the PGA Tour this season in driving distance (328.7) and is 10th in strokes gained off the tee per round (.765). McIlroy’s ball striking is immaculate, but he’s got to get the putter going from 171st in SG per round (-.446) to at least a net neutral if he’s going to win at the rate he expects to.

I see this week as a good opportunity to gain momentum with that club.