Valspar Championship Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 21st March 2019

Rory McIlroy sent out a message to the rest of the elite players in men’s golf last week with his win at the Players Championship. McIlroy is ready to seriously contend for major championships again so the others will need to bring their best golf to the table. Some of those elite players have a chance to fire straight back with Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Jason Day all competing at this week’s Valspar Championship.

Sergio Garcia is one of those who will get a big following from the Palm Harbour galleries this week. He doesn’t always get universal support from American golf fans but Garcia is a prolific winner all around the world and has shown an adaptability for the difficult Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort so could well head into the Masters on the back of a big win.

Top Tips

Sergio Garcia each way @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is both revered and feared by PGA Tour players. The Larry Packard-designed course feels very different to the rest of the courses used in the Florida Swing thanks to tree-lined and undulating fairways. Unusually, Copperhead has five par threes which results in a total par of 71. It ranked second toughest of all par 71s used on the PGA Tour last season and will be every bit as challenging for the 2019 renewal.

Players already weary of the punishment handed out by Copperhead simply cannot allow the frustrations to get the better of them in the closing stretch. The last three holes combine to make one of the toughest finishes of all on the PGA Tour and are viewed with such dread they’re known as the ‘Snake Pit’.

The brilliance of Packard’s design meant that when extensive work was carried out on Copperhead three years ago it was all done to maintain the challenge it provided rather than altering it. There is no doubt this will be a real challenge, even for the classy players who make up the field.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club Palm Harbour, Florida 7,340 Yards $3,000,000

Recent Winners

The first thing that jumps out of the list of recent champions is just how tight the winning margin tends to be at Innisbrook. Kevin Streelman is the only man in the last 10 years to win the Valspar Championship by more than one shot and you have to go back to K. J. Choi’s victory in 2006 for the last player to win by a bigger margin.

It’s also interesting to note that there is a real international feel to the recent winners even if American golfers have had a monopoly on the runner up places. From a playing perspective, the five players below all had to hang tough and putt very well. This is not a course at which things tend to go to plan so an ability to get out of trouble by scrambling for par is a vital part of the picture from tee to green.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Paul Casey -10 1 Stroke
2017 Adam Hadwin -14 1 Stroke
2016 Charl Schwartzel -7 Playoff
2015 Jordan Spieth -10 Playoff
2014 John Senden -7 1 Stroke

Analysis: Innisbrook Ideal Masters Preparation

The timing of the Valspar Championship always provided a challenge for the event organisers to attract golf’s biggest names and that’s only become harder since the Players Championship was moved back to March. That so many big names are right at the top of the betting is testament to the view that many hold that the challenge of the Copperhead Course can be used by elite players as a key part of their preparations for the Masters. The two courses ask slightly different questions but Jordan Spieth is just one player to suggest that good form at Innisbrook can translate to other tough courses such as Augusta National.

Garcia Sharpening His Game for Augusta

Sergio Garcia is keener than most to use the Valspar Championship to get his game in tip top shape for the Masters. The Spaniard was a little embarrassed to miss the cut on his Masters defence last year and is doing all he can to right that wrong.

The signs are good for Garcia’s fans. He only briefly got himself into contention at the Players but was relatively happy with a 22nd place finish. That came after four top 10 finishes in recent weeks although his performance in Saudi Arabia showed there is still work to be done.

Garcia proved his ability to handle the Snake Pit when topping the stats for strokes gained tee to green at last year’s Valspar Championship. A repeat of that sort of ball striking week combined with some confidence on the green could see Garcia claim his 11th PGA Tour win at 16/1 with BetVictor.

Furyk Capable of Another Big Week

Jim Furyk must have been aware of how difficult previous Ryder Cup captains have found life when returning to competitive action at the top level. He looked a very tired man at the conclusion of last summer’s Ryder Cup but remained his composure and enhanced his reputation as ‘Gentleman Jim’ which is why so many people were delighted to see him push Rory McIlroy all the way at the Players Championship.

Furyk was fortunate just to get a place in the field last week but he was not surprised by his result, such was his confidence about the state of his golf game at the moment. The challenge this week will be to maintain those levels when fatigue inevitably sets in but his consistent, no fuss style of play has secured big results at Innisbrook before so Furyk has every chance of a top 10 finish at 7/2 with Coral.

Final Verdict: Sergio Garcia to Win

It’s yet another PGA Tour event where some of the very best golfers on the planet are competing and have a real chance of winning. Sergio Garcia can very much count himself among that number of golfers right from the top drawer and with everything clicking both on and off the course a happy Sergio looks a good bet for the title at 16/1 each way with Betfair.

About

The Valspar Championship has only been about since 2000 and was originally designed to fit in as a alternative event during the Presidents Cup. The original autumn/late summer time frame also coincided with the WGC American Express Championship, should the Presidents Cup not be running that year.

But, it was able to secure a place on the main tour in 2003 and with it was placed at the back end of the season. In fact, it was the last event before the start of the Players Championship, meaning it was extremely popular for players that were still trying to get a spot within the tournament.

Over the years it's had a number of sponsors and in 2007 it only secured a sponsor some two weeks before the start of the event. Whilst it's been far from a permanent fixture as result of this, a deal struck with Valspar in 2014 has been one that's allowed the tournament to flourish and see's the partnership between the two running through to 2020 at least. The current host for the event is the Innisbrook Resort with the golf being played on their Copperhead Course with a $6.5 million purse.

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