Two-time defending champion Paul Casey returns to try to win for a record third time in Tampa as The Valspar Championship returns to the Tour schedule after it was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former FedExCup winner Justin Thomas is back on the PGA Tour for the first time since playing the Masters while Phil Mickelson will tee it up at the Valspar Championship for the first time since 2004.
Meanwhile, Englishman Tyrrell Hatton heads to Florida in fine form looking for his second PGA Tour victory on a course that certainly suits his game.
Course: Innisbrook Resort`s Copperhead Course
Length: 7340 yards (Par 71)
Architect: Lawrence Packard
The Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort is some of an outlier on the PGA TOUR.
Whereas most courses nowadays put a premium on driving distance the course located in Palm Harbor, Florida is a second shot golf course in the truest sense of the word.
Not only does the course have FIVE par 3s and an average driving distance almost 15 yards shorter than tour average, it also has some of the smaller greens players will face all year, which means a strong short game is often essential to achieve a good finish here.
The greens are fast Bermuda and are often tricky to master, especially on short puts, while this usually plays as one of the tougher tests on tour there is just moderate winds in the forecast – so I am picturing a winning score in the low teens.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained approach
- Strokes gained around the green
- Par 3 scoring
- Bermuda putting
- Proximity 175-200 yards
- Strokes gained off the tee
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: 199 unitsWon: 407.42 units
Result: 208.42 units
Waste Management: Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational: Max Homa 56-1, The Players Championship: Justin Thomas 19-1, Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth 11-1
Dustin Johnson @ 11.00
6pts to WIN
One of my main strategies is to buy the dip on elite players and we are just a few weeks removed from the clear world number one going off at between 6 and 8 to 1 in full fields.
After a couple of disappointing performances by his standards we now get him 50% higher in a field with “only” four other top 15 players in the world present.
His slight dip in form was due to both his off the tee and approach game being just ok, but at Harbour Town two weeks ago his driving was back to his usual best gaining over 5 strokes off the tee.
His approach play was still lacking but if his irons just get back to an okay level this week his odds present really good value.
On a long-term basis, he rates out perfect for this place ranking 1st in my model over the past 50 rounds.
Tyrrell Hatton 26.00 @
4pts to WIN
The Englishman is another player who is under-priced this week in my opinion.
The number eight in the world have become a proper winner over the past two seasons including The Arnold Palmer last year another tough Florida track that demands the same skill set as this place.
Ranking 2nd in proximity from 175-200, 7th in par 3 scoring, 21s off the tee, 13th on approach and being a good Bermuda putter this place really sets up well for Hatton.
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