Another week, another win for us here. This one marks three in a row for me after Dustin Johnson proved once again he’s the best player in the world right now after winning the WGC Mexico Championship. The strange calculations due to the elevation, the 3 footers missed and the stuck ball in a tree couldn’t deter him from winning his fourth WGC event (only person with more is Tiger). My other picks were slightly disappointing: Stenson (WD), Brendan Steele and Louis Oosthuizen (48th) and Zach Johnson (58th). I did mention Justin Thomas as another one of my favorite bets at 33-1, but he ended up struggling most the day Sunday and never really made a move. With Mexico in the rear view mirror, the PGA Tour gets back to normal in Florida. We’ll try to make it four in a row at the Valspar Championship.
The Valspar Championship will once again be played at Copperhead Course as the PGA Tour heads back to Florida. After a star-studded week last week, this tournament will look much different with only six of the top 25 players in the world in attendance. The course is a Par 71, but it’s a little different than most because it has five par 3’s and four par 5’s. It’s continually one of the hardest non-major golf courses as the winner is almost always in single digits under par. Look for players who can grind out pars, score well on par 3’s and take advantage of the extra par 5. To get a more in depth look at the course, check our Geoff’s article.
Odds for the Valspar Championship:
- Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson: 10-1
- Ryan Moore: 22-1
- Daniel Berger, Gary Woodland: 25-1
- Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas: 28-1
- Patrick Reed: 30-1
- Charles Howell III, Bubba Watson, Graham Dalaet, Charl Schwartzel, Wes Bryan, Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner: 40-1
- Kevin Na, Luke Donald, Byeong-Hun An: 50-1
- Webb Simpson: 55-1
- Russell Knox, Jim Furyk: 60-1
- Graeme McDowell, Martin Laird, Keegan Bradley, Russell Henley, Sean O’Hair, Ollie Schniederjans: 66-1
- Steve Stricker: 75-1
- Charley Hoffman, Chris Kirk, Patrick Rodgers, JJ Spaun, Jason Kokrak, Nick Watney, Tony Finau, Adam Hadwin: 80-1
- Harris English, Lucas Glover, Scott Brown, Seung Yul Noh, Brian Harman, Kevin Streelman, Scott Piercy, Stewart Cink: 100-1
Henrik Stenson (10-1): The studs this week are few and far between. This was basically between Justin Thomas and Henrik Stenson and I personally think Stenson has the better chance of winning this week. I realize Thomas played well last week, but it looked like his swing wasn’t right and he was scoring better than he should have been (the hole in one certainly helps). He’s still a great play this week and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t finish solidly, but I just believe Stenson is the one to bet on this week at the same odds. Stenson will return to Copperhead for the third time. His previous two trips here were a fourth place finish in 2015 and an 11th place finish last year so he’s definitely comfortable with the layout. Prior to his withdraw last week due to some stomach issues, Stenson had been absolutely rolling in Europe with five straight finishes inside the top nine with two runner ups. In that time frame he hit no less than 75% of the greens in regulation, which is pretty darn impressive. The Swede has an excellent shot to get it done this week assuming he doesn’t get sick again (yes I had a ton of him last week and I’m still very bitter).
Mid Tier Value Picks:
Gary Woodland (25-1): Woodland is on the verge of his third career win and it’ll probably be sooner rather than later. He’s playing some of the best golf of his career with only one missed cut in his last 13 starts. During those 13 starts, he has six top tens and two runner up finishes. He has decent course history as one of his two career wins came here in 2011. Since then, he has an 8th place finish sandwiched between two missed cuts, a 29th and 42nd place finish. It’s a combination of great recent form with memories of his first win. I think he takes home the trophy.
Bill Haas (28-1): Haas will be a popular play this week and for good reason. He finished second here last here in a playoff to Charl Schwartzel and finished 14th in 2014. He’s quietly playing extremely well once again as he’s only missed one cut in his last 14 events. Here are his finishes during his last seven events: 32nd, 11th, 17th, 13th, 13th, 4th, 20th. The dude is playing rock solid right now and returns to a course with unfinished business after losing the lead last year on the final nine. Haas ranks really well in several statistics I’m looking at this week including 16th in GIR% and 1st in scrambling.
Long Shot Pick:
Charley Hoffman (80-1): Hoffman is usually a guy I like when it comes to the Texas events, but I think he has a chance to finish high this week and has the upside to win it. He’s made six of seven cuts here including an 11th place finish last year and he has four top 25 finishes at this event in his career. He comes in playing some good golf, finishing fourth in his last tournament at the Genesis Open and 24th at the Phoenix Open in February. He also has some added incentive this week as he currently sits at 68th in the official world golf rankings. If he finishes high here that could vault him into the top 64, meaning he would qualify for the match play event in two weeks.
Other favorite bets on the week: Daniel Berger (25-1) Matt Kuchar (28-1) Justin Thomas (33-1) Billy Horschel (40-1)
Good luck this week and make sure to follow me on Twitter! @Keagan28