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PGA Tour preview: Valspar Championship

Preview – PGA Tour — Valsar Championship – Innisbrook Resort Cooperhead Course – Palm Harbor, FL –

The PGA Tour’s Valsar Championship tees off in Palm Harbor, Florida featuring six of the Top 14 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

The event includes former Masters champion Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth. Patrick Reed, who 16th in the world, and former World No. 1 Luke Donald are also competing. For Stenson, it’s his first appearance at this tournament.

The PGA Tour is still looking for its first multi-tournament winner in the 2014-2015 season. Reed and Ryan Moore could fit the bill to change that pattern.

At 7,300-plus yards at a par-71, Innisbrook Resort’s Cooperhead Course rewards solid ball strikers and perhaps par-3 experts. The layout features five par-3s including three on the back nine. Solid Par 3 statistics could signify a potential winner.

The Snake Pit – holes No. 16 to 18 – could decide the champion this week. Golf Channel and NBS Sports share television coverage this week. The tournament dates back to 2000 with past champions including Kevin Streelman (2013), Donald (2012) and Gary Woodland (2011).

2014 Outcome:

  • Aussie John Senden shot 64 in round three and went on to finish 7-under overall to secure a one-shot triumph over Kevin Na. Scott Langeley was 5-under, while Donald was T-4 alongside Robert Garrigus. Garrigus opened 69-66 but a final round 75 derailed his run. Rose and Woodland logged Top 10s.

FANTASY: Look for Donald to continue his form. Horses for courses. He won here in 2012 and contended in 2013 and 2014. Furyk is also a past champion in this part of Florida winning here and logging a runner-up in recent years. If you are looking for a European Tour regular in this spot, take Louis Oosthuizen. The former Open champion, who lost of Bubba Watson in a playoff at Augusta just a few years ago, contended last week in Florida. He could slay this course.

BETTORS: Scott, at 12-to-1 odds, is the top betting pick at www.ladbrokes.com. After his Top 4 last week at the Honda Classic, Scott has four straight worldwide Top 5s heading into Copperhead. Spieth is 14-1 and fits the type of player to contend here, but consider Senden again. The Aussie, 66-1, also has a pair of runner-ups at this layout. Furyk, at 16-1, is overdue to win. Perhaps, this is the week. He is No. 6 in the world ranking.

Other Golf News:

  • Morten Orum Madsen fired a 7-under-63 and leads the European Tour’s Tshwane Open at the moment. Several players are still finishing up round one action in South Africa. He was a 33-1 betting selection heading into the tournament.
  • The Champions Tour and LPGA Tour both return to action next week in Arizona.
  • Inbee Park and Becky Morgan share the round one lead at the Mission Hills Ladies World Park headlines the field on the LETChampionship on the Ladies European Tour. Both shot 4-under-69. So Yeon Ryu is T-7 at 1-under, while Suzann Pettersen sits at T-14 shooting even par.