Arnold Palmer Invitational First-Round Leader Tips: Picks from 28/1 to 40/1

American golfer Kurt Kitayama
Kurt Kitayama can start fast

The PGA Tour stays in Florida and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to top the leaderboard come the end of round one at Bay Hill...

  • 40/141.00 Kurt Kitayama can thrive at Bay Hill again

  • 28/129.00 Cameron Young is a proven fast starter

  • 40/141.00 Corey Conners is a former FRL here


  • Weather forecast for Thursday

    It's forecast to be a calm and mostly sunny day in Orlando. Wind speeds are modest at around 6-7mph throughout the whole of the golfing day while temperatures hit the mid-80s in the afternoon.

    It's a field of just 69 players with Nick Dunlap on his own at 7.45am local followed by 34 two-balls, the last of which tees off at 11.55am. There's no weather bias so let's pick freely.


    Back Kurt Kitayama @ 40/141.00

    Kurt Kitayama produced his career highlight in this tournament 12 months ago when shooting 9-under to win by a shot.

    His lowest round came on day one as a 67 put the American in second place on the leaderboard.

    Rewind a year to the 2022 Honda (now Cognizant) Classic and Kitayama was the first-round leader so he has a first and a second in this market in his last four starts in Florida.

    Without much fanfare he's putting together a fine season with all five of his finishes 39th or better, including eighth in Phoenix two starts ago.

    He was 14th after day one at both Pebble and in Phoenix and some solid approach play suggests he can have another big day at Bay Hill.

    Back the 1.00pm starter for FRL at 40s.

    Back Kurt Kitayama each-way @ 40/141.00

    Bet here

    Back Cameron Young @ 28/129.00

    From the top end of the market, it's between Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Young and I'll take the latter at the slightly bigger price.

    Young continues to frustrate at the business end of tournaments but he's well worth following for FRL.

    The American has four first-round leads in his last 42 worldwide starts, the most recent in January's Dubai Desert Classic.

    He opened with a 65 in last week's Cognizant Classic to sit third and finishes of 10th and 13th in two trips to Bay Hill back up the idea that his ball-striking makes him a great fit for Arnie's par 72.

    In last year's API, Young opened with a 67 to lie second so there are plenty of clues that he could go low again from his 12.50pm tee-time.

    Back Cameron Young each-way @ 28/129.00

    Bet here

    Back Corey Conners @ 40/141.00

    Corey Conners shot an opening 66 to be the first-round leader here in 2021 and is worth following again on day one.

    The Canadian finished third that year and has followed it with 11th and 21st to show his top-class tee-to-green game matches up nicely with Bay Hill.

    I also like the fact that he added another 6-under 66 in round two last year to show that he can go low for 18 holes here.

    Talking of 66s, he shot another in the final round of last week's Cognizant Classic so let's take the 11.25am starter to record his third first-round lead in Florida (this event in 2021 and the 2018 Valspar).

    Back Corey Conners each-way @ 40/141.00

    Bet here

    Now read Dave Tindall's each-way preview of Bay Hill


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