I will provide a quick summary of the first two rounds of the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational before diving into my favorite plays for Round 3 Showdown contests on DraftKings.
Keep in mind that we want to project future success and not rely on previous accomplishments.
The first round opened with what will likely be the best scoring environment of the tournament.
Jon Rahm continued his dominance on his way to a first-round 65. He started with three straight birdies and ended with an eagle and two birdies. He only hit eight of fourteen fairways but made up for it on approach and around the green.
Kitayama, Kirk, and Cam Young all shot five under for the first round. Each one of them getting there in different ways. Kitayama was great with the irons gaining the 6th most strokes on approach and hitting 14 greens in regulation. Meanwhile, Kirk relied on the short game and Young played well all around.
The wind wreaked havoc on a number of golfers in the 2nd round. Jon Rahm ended up shooting four over par, Keegan Bradley was five over, and Matsuyama shot six over par and will miss the cut.
Surprisingly, some other golfers seemed to not even notice the windy conditions. Three golfers shot 67 or better. Justin Thomas and Taylor Montgomery joined Corey Conners who shot the low score of the round at 66.
Kitayama continued to play well shooting a 68 to grab the lead. He was nearly bogey-free but missed a par putt on the 16th hole.
* All statistics are based on metrics from the first two rounds of play.
2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational: Round 3 Draftkings Showdown Plays
Max Homa ($9,700)
Homa has been solid through two rounds. He’s relied on his ball striking to currently sit in 13th place. He’s gained 2.5 strokes off the tee and 3.6 strokes on approach. The putter has let him down a bit as he missed a number of makeable birdie putts.
His game has been top-tier so far this year and I expect him to make a run toward the top of the leaderboard this weekend.
Keith Mitchell ($8,800)
Mitchell has been great so far this year. He’s 1st in strokes gained off the tee and 4th from tee to green in 2023. He’s continued the ball striking this week as he currently sits 3rd in strokes gained off the tee at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He’d be in the top 5 if it weren’t for a bad four-hole stretch yesterday where he made two bogeys and a double on holes two through five. Mitchell has given us every reason to believe he’ll have a late tee time come Sunday.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,500)
Fitzpatrick has been dealing with a neck injury and hasn’t shown last year’s form so far in 2023. He finally looks to be fully healthy through two rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Matthew’s ball striking has been immaculate. He’s gained 3.6 strokes off the tee and 4.8 strokes on approach. He hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation today in very gusty conditions.
He hasn’t finished worse than 10th in his last four appearances at Bay Hill and it looks like another top finish is coming this weekend.
Wyndham Clark ($7,300)
Clark’s irons have carried him to some good finishes recently. He’s gained an average of 3.9 strokes on approach over his last three tournaments.
He currently leads the field in that category at the Arnold Palmer. He’s good in the wind and should continue his ball striking in gusty conditions on Saturday.