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Valspar Championship: Odds, Picks, and Prop Bets

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The PGA Tour heads back to Florida this week for the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort. Four of the top-15 players in the world are in the field including Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson.

This will be Stenson’s first PGA Tour appearance in the U.S. since the FedEx Cup playoffs back in September. Stenson withdrew last week with a stomach virus after going 3-over par through 11 holes, but he should be fully recovered this week. Defending champ Charl Schwartzel is also in the field and is looking to rebound after a T38 at last week’s WGC–Mexico Championship and a missed cut at the Genesis Open.

Vijay Singh holds the tournament record at the Valspar Championship with a 266 in 2004, and Padraig Harrington holds the 18-hole record with a 61.

The Course

The par-71, 7,340-yard Copperhead Course is a player favorite on the PGA Tour. It’s highly demanding off the tee. Any stray tee shot will end up among the trees and, with plenty of double doglegs, driving accuracy and positioning will be a key to success. The Copperhead Course is also home to one of the toughest finishing stretches in all of golf. Dubbed “The Snake Pit,” the three finishing holes played an average of 0.598 strokes over par last year.

Odds

Past Champs in the field:

  • KJ Choi: +20000
  • Retief Goosen: +28000
  • Vijay Singh: +30000
  • Carl Pettersson: +40000
  • Sean O’Hair: +6600
  • Jim Furyk: +5000
  • Gary Woodland: +2800
  • Luke Donald: +4500
  • Kevin Streelman: +10000
  • John Senden: +15000
  • Charl Schwartzel: +3300

Favorites:

  • Justin Thomas +800
  • Henrik Stenson +1000
  • Matt Kuchar +2500
  • Patrick Reed +2500
  • Ryan Moore +2500
  • Bill Haas +2800
  • Daniel Berger +2800
  • Gary Woodland +2800
  • Charl Schwartzel +3300
  • Charles Howell III +3500

Picks

My Pick: This is a tough one. I’ve been torn between Justin Thomas (+800) and Henrik Stenson (+1000). They had two very different weeks at the WGC. Thomas finished T5 and Stenson withdrew. It seems as though Thomas has broken out of his mini-slump, but I’m picking Stenson again this week. At a course this demanding, I expect Stenson to stripe 3-wood off the tee and put himself in great scoring position. Last week notwithstanding, Stenson hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since the Deutsche Bank in Boston.

Value Pick: I’m going with Gary Woodland here at +2800. If Woodland can find the fairway this week, I think he can overpower this course. He won here back in 2011, so he obviously loves the course, and he’s grown into a much better all-around player since then. Woodland should be contending on Sunday afternoon with a real chance to finish atop the leaderboard.

Long Shot: I’m going with Jim Furyk (+5000) as my longshot this week. He hasn’t had a great season thus far; one MC in five starts and only one top-10 finish. With that said, Furyk has as much experience as anyone in the field and he’s won here before. He ranks 2nd in Driving Accuracy, but he definitely lacks distance. If he continues to hit fairways and put himself in the right spots, this could be the week he breaks out of his slump.

Who to stay away from: Charl Schwartzel (+3300): He’s one of the favorites this week and he’s the reigning champ, but he hasn’t played great golf as of late. On top of his recent form, the Valspar has never had a winner defend his title and only three have ever finished inside the top-10.

Props

Will there be a playoff Yes (+300) No (-450): I’m going with “No” here. There have been three playoffs in the last five years, including back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. Other than the playoffs, the winner usually pulls away with a two- or three-shot victory and I can’t see there being a playoff three years in a row. 

Winning Margin Playoff (+300) 1 Stroke (+250) 2 Strokes (+350) 3 Strokes (+500) 4+ Strokes (+325): Like I said, there’s usually a two- or three-shot margin at the Valspar. My initial thought was three, but I think Stenson and Thomas are going to battle it out and keep things close. Chances are, someone will falter in the Snake Pit while the other makes a birdie or two. I’m going with two strokes (+350).

Hole-in-One Yes (+135) No (-175): I’m going with “No” this week. Every par-3 plays above par at the Copperhead Course, and the only one that doesn’t exceed 200 yards is the 4th hole at 195. It’s wide and shallow with bunkers protecting the front. I expect to see players taking a safe route to the green here, two putting and hurrying to the next tee box.

Justin Thomas and Henrik Stenson (+400) vs. the Field (-1200): I’m taking Thomas and Stenson at +400. I’m picking Stenson to win outright and Thomas is the clear favorite. They should be battling each other for the win on Sunday afternoon. With these odds, it’s too hard to pass up.

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  1. Dave R

    Mar 13, 2017 at 12:11 am

    So much for all your picks boys

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WGC-Workday Championship Tour Truck Report: New putter for Rory, more AutoFlex experiments

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First and foremost, prayers and love to Tiger Woods and his family.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy is going back to an older model putter this week at Concession swapping his Spider X for a TP Juno.

Robert McIntyre AKA “Bobby Mack” put a new TaylorMade Rescue ’21 Hybrid ([email protected]) in the bag with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black Hybrid 100 6.5 TX.

Matthew Wolff put a new TaylorMade (19) UDI in the bag with a Mitsubishi MMT 125TX.

Collin Morikawa was testing SIM2, SIM2 Max hybrids this week with Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shafts.

Dustin Johnson alongside TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarboro was testing SIM2 drivers with Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X, Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 and an LAGP Proto.

Callaway

Jon Rahm made adjustments to his Mavrik Sub Zero 5-wood to optimize launch. The 5-wood has 16.4 degrees of loft and a Black Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X. The adjustments were to the lie of the club going from 59.8 to 58.9 and weight distribution from 12g Front/6g Back to 10G Front/6g Back. Dialed.

Min Woo Lee put a new Epic Speed ([email protected]) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X. Lee also debuted his new logo which is on fire.

Titleist 

Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa tested TSi2 5-woods to give him some options for some of the tee shots at Concession. It’s equipped with a Graphite Design Tour XC 8 TX.

Lanto Griffin swapped into a shorter driver going from 45 to 44.5 in his TSi3 (10). Griffin’s driver has a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5TX

Justin Thomas put a TSI3 (9) in the bag this week. The new set up is powered by a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched back into a shorter length Ping G425 LST this week going from 45 to 44.25 inches. The shaft is a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (@44.25 , Tip 1.5, D4 SW).

Louis Oosthuizen did something interesting. He had a Ping build him a G425 LST (10.5 @ 9.4, Small -) with the company’s lightweight Alta Slate CB 55 stiff shaft. The 2010 Open Champion was looking for a softer feel with the driver, which isn’t surprising, considering he was seen taking a hard look at Adam Scott’s TSi with an AutoFlex. The whippy lightweight plot thickens…

Ping released a bunch of new putters this week for seeding. Multiple staffers tested them and we will see on Thursday if any go in play.

Cobra

Cobra’s Ben Schomin (and king of the mullets) is doing something to Bryson’s driver—wanted to post this because of the respect for Ben’s hair. Hair aside, Bryson did put a new LAGP Axis Blue 6X in his driver and was also testing new Rad Speed 3 Woods.

Misc/Free Agents

Tommy Fleetwood swapped out his Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges for a set of Titleist Vokey’s (52M, 56M, and 60T) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

Adam Scott (Titleist staff) was testing long center shafted Odyssey Two Ball 10.

 

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Interesting photos from WGC-Workday (plus links to all 9 galleries)

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, where we were on-site Tuesday and Wednesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and on the range as players were getting ready to battle for a $10.5 million purse at the WGC-Workday Championship.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Frankin 2-Ball

There is a lot going on with the center-shafted 2-Ball Ten. It has weight plugs epoxied into the sole cavity, a hand-drawn marker line on the alignment discs, and a White Hot OG insert—and did I mention it has a long grip?

Speaking of 2-Ball…

The aforementioned 2-Ball Ten caught the attention of Adam Scott, and he was spotted messing around with it around the putting green.

Iron covers: the new trend?

Before you start thinking Bubba Watson was the trendsetter, it was actually Aaron Rai who has been using iron covers longer. Indeed, he won while using them at the 2020 Scottish Open.

JT’s putter cover flex

JT with the full flex on his fellow players as he has his own “Inspired by” Justin Thomas cover in the bag.

Santa?

Does Santa moonlight as a caddy on the PGA Tour?

Xander: Always working

A few weeks ago it was a Quintic. This week, it’s an iPad on a very clever stand. Xander is always working hard on his putting!

Louis Loves that Callaway wedge

Louis Oosthuizen has been a long-time Ping guy, but the one club he can’t seem to shake is his Callaway PM grind wedge.

A couple of guys talking putters

Collin Morikawa—with his TaylorMade FCG Spider—was spotted talking to Rory McIlroy, who looks to have gone back to a TaylorMade Juno blade putter from his Spider.

Fleetwood hanging onto his TVD Vokey wedge

Tommy Fleetwood has transitioned almost his entire bag to TaylorMade, but a couple of the holdout include a classic Vokey TVD wedge.

More Autoflex testing on tour?

Adam Scott looks to be more than just a fashion influencer out tour. Louis Oosthuizen was spotted talking with Mr. Scott about his Autoflex shaft and even gave it a few wiggles.

DJ testing all kinds of shafts

Look at this action!

As reported last week in the Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report, DJ was testing a new LA Golf shafts DJ Proto, and this week at the WGC, it looks like the testing continues. He was spotted hitting his tried-and-true Fujikura 661, a Ventus, and the LA Proto. What will go into play Thursday, nobody knows (I mean we will, of course…).

Testing looked to have continued on Wednesday—DJ was rotating through three different drivers on the range, along with some prototype putters on the green.

Laurie Canter with Honma blades

Although not a household name (yet), Laurie Canter is inside the top 100 in the official world golf rankings and has a very interesting bag of clubs—including Ping woods, Honma blades, and both Callaway and Titleist wedges.

New Ping putter line spotted

Ping loves to seemingly randomly drop new putters, and although we don’t have the tech story on these yet, we can conclude that there is some sort of insert technology to go along with some sort of heavy (likely tungsten) heel and toe weights to boost MOI.

Check out all of our galleries below

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Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report: DJ testing driver shafts, Xander’s new irons

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It’s always a big week at Riviera, but from a tour truck standpoint, it was actually pretty mellow. Some testing here and there with the big news being DJ testing a bunch of driver shafts. Anytime a world No. 1 does anything to his setup, it’s always news.

Titleist

Brian Harman switched into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X  in his TSi2 (9 degrees). 

Lanto Griffin went from TSi2 (10 degrees) driver to TSi3 driver (10 degrees). His shaft of choice is the Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5 TX.

Aaron Dill AKA @vokeywedgerep

Lots of fresh grooves this week (staffers)

Cam Davis 60T

Jordan Spieth 60T

Matt Jones 60-12D

Adam Scott 60-12D @10 (new)

Robert Streb 60-04L

“Adam Scott is making changes to his 60-12D. Mentioned with firmer conditions, he wanted to feel less forward bounce on his lob wedge.  Took his 60-12D and reduced forward bounce and camber down two degrees.  This allowed the face to get closer to the ground and move his strike a little higher up the face in increasing his launch slightly.”

Ping

Scott Harrington put a new G425 LST 3-wood (14.5 degrees) in the bag this week. It’s equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft.

Kevin Streelman (non-staffer) added a bit of loft to his G425 LST (9 degrees). Streelman still has the five-plus-year-old Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 70 TX.

TaylorMade

Collin Morikawa tested irons with TaylorMade rep Adrian Rietveld working back into a combo set he has preferred in the past. The current combo this week with TaylorMade’s P7MC (4-6) into P730 (7-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Collin Morikawa WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited  70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium “Rocket” (14 degrees @ 13.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited D+ 80 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F) TaylorMade Hi Toe2 (60-07LB)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade FCG

Ball: TP5 21

Rather monumental potential iron shaft switch for Rory McIlroy: @trottiegolf shared a truck ticket with an order for a new set of P7MB’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7’s. We will see if they go in play.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Dustin Johnson was doing some serious shaft testing this week and was spotted with a LAGP Proto “Made for DJ” prototype. Johnson is currently trying to find a shaft that would complement the SIM2/Max head. This particular prototype has a VERY stable tip, which complements DJ’s desire to never miss it left.

LAG DJ Proto 2 of 2 (LAG made two trotos to test). The shaft is 73 grams, which is a bit heavier than his normal gamer.

If it goes in this week, we will get more info. Stay tuned.

Callaway

Xander Schauffele put a new set of “Raw” TCB irons in play (4-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130X shafts. Xander was also testing a Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X and Mavrik 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X. He will also most likely have his Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3-iron in play this week at Riviera.

Kevin Na tested an Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX shaft.

Francesco Molinari tested an Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X and an Epic Speed 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X. 

Marc Leishman was also testing Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9) with a Fujikura Speeder EVO IV 757 TX.

ScottEG/KBS

Luke List had a new set of PXG 0311 ST irons built up with KBS Tour V 125 S+ shafts.

Bryson Dechambeau made some loft adjustments to his SIK Proto putter. BAD was looking to add a bit of loft to get the ball on top of the grass a bit better heading into the Florida swing.

Free agents/miscellaneous

Charl Schwartzel was testing Mitsubishi Chemical’s new Kai’li Blue 70 TX and 80 TX shafts in his TaylorMade SIM2 3- and 5-woods.

Harold Varner III tested a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11.5) with a Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 7 X shaft.

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