Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Valspar Championship 2017 - Copperhead, Innsbrook

It's a short journey across the Gulf of Mexico for the PGA Tour this week where the Valspar Championship will be held on one of the tour's toughest courses. Its a week where par is good and for those that can stay patient and bank the birdies when they come and post a score in a round -10, an exciting Sunday finish at "The Snake Pit" awaits. Justin Thomas leads the market from Henrik Stenson. This tournament has seen many Major winners prevail here such is the difficulty of the course.


The Course


Copperhead underwent some renovations before last years event in particular the greens, which by reports were much slower then usual. They are expected to be fast again this time round. The course repeatedly ranks in the TOP5 for difficulty in terms of putting as well as GIR. Players need to be striking it well and accurate to compete. on this par-71 layout we still have 4 Par-4s, but 5 Par-3s. These short holes rank as one of the toughest par-3 scoring courses the players will play on tour. Throw in a bit of wind around the gulf, and we have another competitive event where the favourites can be taken on although Stenson is the man to beat for me here.


Selections


I put up Jason Dufner for the Honda Classic a couple of weeks back where he finished T14th. He finished well in Mexico too last week suggesting his game is in good shape and so @ 51.00 he's worth having onside again. He tees it up for the tenth consecutive year here and has finished no worse than 28th in 2011, 2010. "The Duf" has shown in the past that his best performances come at these type of events, where he's a winner of the PGA Championship in 2013 at Oak Hill CC, a winner at New Orleans as well as the Byron Nelson. Dufner has also contested well at Colonial not to mention 4 TOP20s at the last 4 US Opens of which 2 were TOP5s. He revels tough conditions "

Ryan Moore @ 25s could be right but I wanted a bit more for someone who hasn't won as often as he should have. He should contend this week on a track he clearly likes having finished 3rd & 5th the last two years. Instead, I'll opt for Webb Simpson @ 61.00 e/w with Paddypower who will pay out 1/5 odds up to 7 places this week. Simpson has started to show signs of late that his game is getting back to where it was when winning the US Open in 2012 and although his last victory came in 2013, course such as Copperhead are ideal for him. He did however miss the cut on his last two visits but form prior was good showing 17-10-2-13. He recently missed out on victory at the Phoenix Open losing in a playoff to Hideki Matsuyama and is value in this field on this course this week.

Staking Plan

1.00 pt win J.Dufner @ 51.00
0.50 pt win W.Simpson @ 61.00

0.50 pts e/w W.Simpson @ 61.00 (7 places)
2.50 pts TOP20 J.Dufner @ 3.25