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Valspar Championship: Expert Picks

Paul Casey is aiming for the three-peat

Valspar Championship - Final Round Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Tournament Information

Valspar Championship
Date: April 29th – May 2nd
Course: Innisbrook Resort and Golf
Purse: $6.9MM ($1.2MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Paul Casey (-8)

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 three holes in the course. If players can navigate this at the close of their rounds, then they can succeed.

Transitions Championship Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images

My Starting 4

Paul Casey (first selection this year) — Back to back wins in 2018 and 2019, Casey is the lock.

Louis Oosthuizen (first selection this year) — 16th and 2nd over his last two times at Innisbrook, Oosthuizen is currently 5th in total strokes gained and was 2nd last week at Zurich.

Rory Sabbatini (second selection this year) — Two top 20 finishes here in 2018 and 2019. Sabbatini has a strong December and January but has since cooled off a bit. His putting has really carried him this year.

Jason Kokrak (first selection this year) — Kokrak was a top 10 finisher the last two years at Innisbrook. He has top 10 finishes in three of his last four tournaments.

My Bench 2

Sam Burns (third selection this year) — Top 30 finishes the last two years here. After three missed cuts through March and early April, Burns finished 39th at RBC two weeks ago. Currently 17th in birdies per round.

Zach Johnson (first selection this year) — Johnson landed in the top 25 the last two years at Valspar. He comes here fresh of three consecutive missed cuts (Valero, Masters and RBC) yikes.

Fun Fact: This tournament (founded in 2000) has had three two-time winners: Paul Casey, Retief Goosen and KJ Choi


2020-2021 Stats (1st percent would be the top golfer picked every week)
Starting 4: AVG finish 39th (31st percent)
Bench 2: AVG finish 46th (36th percent)