Preview – PGA Tour — Valspar Championship – Innisbrook Resort Cooperhead Course – Palm Harbor, FL –
The PGA Tour’s Valsar Championship tees off in Palm Harbor, Florida this week as momentum in the Florida Swing builds to Augusta for the Masters.
With the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play just a few weeks away, the Valsar Championship field benefits from a host of international stars and European Tour regulars including former major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Martin Kaymer.
Ian Poulter, Danny Willett, and Branden Grace are also competing this week.
The field is headlined by World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, who spring-boarded his 2015 with a victory here, and fellow Top 10 players Henrik Stenson and Patrick Reed.
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 John Senden (2014), Kevin Streelman (2013), Luke Donald (2012) and Gary Woodland (2011).
- Spieth (10-under) rallied with late par saves to enter a trip into a playoff against Reed and Sean O’Hair. Spieth survived for his second career PGA Tour title. Stenson was alone in fourth place a shot back and Ryan Moore rounded out the Top 5. Harris English, Justin Thomas, Jason Kokrak and Danny Lee logged Top 10s.
FANTASY: This layout typically rewards Horses for Courses. With that said, consider Donald, who won here in 2012 and contended in 2013 and 2014. Also take a flier on Kokrak, who was T-2 with Adam Scott behind Bubba Watson at the Northern Trust Open. Justin Thomas is worth a play this week. The youngster won the CIMB Classic in November and challenged here a year ago. For international players, use Willett who rides into Valspar off a strong week in Miami and Schwartzel, a two-time winner on the European Tour already this season.
BETTORS: Spieth, at 4-to-1 odds, is the top betting pick at Silverton Casino in Las Vegas. But, his last three results have been just so-so. Instead take a shot with Oosthuizen at 22-1. Louis has three Top 15s this season and a victory on the European Tour at the Perth International. Take a flier on English at 30-1 as he is overdue for a victory. He challenged in Phoenix finishing third and logged a Top 10 here last year. We like long-shot money on Choi at 45-1. KJ has a great history at Copperhead and finished just a shot back at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
Other Golf News:
- The European Tour hosts the True Thailand Classic this week. With holes still to play in round one, Peter Uihlein and Scott Jamieson are tied at 6-under.
- Moore led the 2015 Valspar through 54 holes, but failed to close the door in the final round and was denied his 5th career PGA Tour victory.
- Aussie John Senden, who has a victory at Innisbrook Resort and a pair of runner-up finishes, is listed at 85-1 betting odds this week.
- The LGPA Tour returns to action next week and returns to America for the Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona. Hyo Joo Kim is the defending champion.
- No player has defended the title at Valspar Championship.