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Valspar Championship: Expert Picks

Henrik Stenson, don’t fool me now!

PGA: Hero World Challenge  - Second Round Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Thank you Phil for winning when I first picked you!

Tournament Information:

Valspar Championship

Date: March 8th – 11th

Course: Innisbrook Resort – Copperhead Course

Purse - $6.5MM ($1.2MM to winner)

FedEx points – 500 to winner

2017 Winner: Adam Hadwin (-14)

Course: Innisbrook Resort: The Copperhead course, which was the second course at Innisbrook behind the Island Course, was built in 1974 and designed by Larry Packard. This 72 hole course is surrounded mostly by nature’s best with few houses laid out throughout the course. The fairways, which are fairly open and surrounded by trees, will wind back and forth using multiple dog legs but aptly guiding the players through it with few tactfully placed traps and instead properly placed approach shots. The true test comes in the ‘Snake Pit’ which make up the final 3 holes in the course. If players can navigate this at the close of their rounds, then they can succeed.

My Starting 4:

Charl Schwartzel. He won at Innisbrook in 2016 and followed it up with a 6th place finish last year. He does NOT have a finish inside the top 25 on the PGA Tour this year but he did tie for 15th on the African tour a few weeks ago and as a very obtuse fact – he has never gone 6 PGA events without a top 25 finish in the last 2 years.

Henrik Stenson. He burned me a lot last year so I’m hoping to have better luck this year. The ONLY PGA player with 3 consecutive top 15 finishes at Valspar Championship over the last 3 years, Henrik comes into the tournament ranked 14th in the world with two PGA events and a 2nd place and 17thplace finishes to his name this season.

Ryan Moore. Three consecutive top 20 finishes here. He’s having a respectable season – 3 top 20 finishes and only one missed cut across 6 tournaments. He’s dominating around the green where he’s 20th in strokes gained.

Tiger Woods. He looked quite strong at the Honda Classic. So far this season he has 3 top 25 finishes and 1 missed cut in 4 tournaments. He has never played here before which could be to his detriment (he thrives on familiarity).

My Bench 2:

Rory McIlroy. He called off the World Golf Classic in Mexico to rest up. Generally a week off bodes well for Rory, he had a handful of top 10 finishes last year after taking a week off. His play has been somewhat up and down this year as he makes his inaugural appearance at the Valspar Championship.

get these shots out of the way now Rory

Luke List. After the 2nd place finish at the Honda Classic, he comes to Valspar, where he finished 27th last year his last four tournaments have all been 26th or better (after he missed 3 straight cuts) so this is largely a boom or bust pick

I REALLY want to pick Patrick Rodgers but he has a long history of missed cuts here so I avoided him, we will see if I regret this on Sunday afternoon.

2018 Avg Stats

Starting 4: Avg Finish 46th (37th percentile)

Bench 2: Avg Finish 36th place (28th percentile)

Poll

Which big name not mentioned will do the best at Copperhead?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Zach Johnson
    (7 votes)
  • 41%
    Jordan Spieth
    (22 votes)
  • 37%
    Tony Finau
    (20 votes)
  • 7%
    Gary Woodland
    (4 votes)
53 votes total Vote Now