Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood among top long-shot plays at this week’s PGA Tour stop

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The PGA Tour schedule is full of peaks and valleys. After a lull last week with the Honda Classic, the heat picks up considerably for the next few weeks as we head to Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmier Invitational followed by THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Most of the game’s elite players opted out of the Honda, but they are back in a big way for the API. An impressive 44 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are set to tee off at Bay Hill on Thursday.

Jon Rahm is the betting favorite this week at +700, just ahead of Rory McIlroy at +950 and Scottie Scheffler at +1000. The odds leap from there as Max Homa (+2000), Collin Morikawa (+2100) and Will Zalatoris (+2100) round out the top-six. Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau are the only other players under +3000.

There’s been an interesting trend at the API over the past few years. From 2012 to 2019, it took double-digits under par to win the event, but the last three winners were Tyrrell Hatton at 4-under, Bryson DeChambeau at 11-under and Scheffler at 5-under.

Let’s take a look at some players down the board who could turn some heads at Bay Hill this week:

Tom Kim (+5000, FanDuel)

Like in any sport, a big part in finding success in golf betting comes down to timing and noticing patterns.

For example, Kim was one of the most popular up-and-comers out of the gates in 2023. It seemed like the whole world was betting him at every turn. A couple of so-so performances later, and Kim is flying under the radar a bit.

Just a few weeks after going off at +2800 at the WM Phoenix Open — another tournament with an elite field on a challenging course — Kim is sitting at +5000 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Kim has already shown flashes of greatness in his career, so don’t be afraid to back the 20-year-old at a number like this even in a dynamite field.

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Shane Lowry (+6500, FanDuel)

Speaking of patterns, how about the prices on Lowry lately? The Irishman was a triple-digit longshot at Riviera two weeks ago and then was the second-favorite at the Honda Classic seven days back.

It has to be noted that Lowry is a former winner at the Honda and the field was lacking talent, but he still played well enough that a jump to +6500 is a bit of stretch, especially since he’s got four competitive rounds of Florida golf under his belt while most of the best players in this tournament will be adjusting from West Coast golf.

Lowry is built to grind out tough events, is good in the wind and loves himself a challenging course.

Tommy Fleetwood (+7500, FanDuel)

Like Lowry, Fleetwood is built to contend at events like this. You may not want to back the Merseysider in tournaments that will require you to score 20-under par, but this kind of set-up is right up his alley.

And while Fleetwood has yet to win in the U.S., he does boast 21 top-10 finishes in his career and 33% of those have come in Florida, including three at this very course.

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Byeong-hun An (+20000, FanDuel)

Another week, another punt on Byeong-hun An.

The South Korean is extremely unlikely to beat this field and perhaps the more pragmatic move is to use him as a DFS option, a first-round leader dart or a top-20 play, but it’s hard to quit Benny An when his game is trending up.

After spending last year on the Korn Ferry Tour, An has not missed the cut in five starts in 2023 and is coming off a T21 finish at the Honda Classic, where he was hanging around the top-5 heading into Sunday.

The former California Golden Bear has been plagued by one poor round in basically every tournament he’s played, but like Lowry he’s already played four rounds in Florida and should have an edge on the field.

An was a popular play at +4500 last week, so going back to him at +20000 doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

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