The Valspar Championship is back on the PGA Tour schedule after the 2020 version was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valspar marks the final event in Florida for the season after its March swing through the state. The 2019 champion Paul Casey is a back-to-back winner here and is in the field.
The Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort is a par-71 playing 7,340 yards. One of the favorites amongst Tour players, the course requires precision off the tee and around the greens. The tree-lined course was designed by Larry Packard and is located near Tampa.
One of the most exciting stretches of golf will be on display in the famed ‘Snake Pit.’ The stretch includes a pair of challenging par-4s with a daunting 200+ par-3 in between. The Copperhead Course was opened in the early 1970s and is one of four at the Innisbrook Resort.
Who’s in the Field?
Dustin Johnson, the world’s top golfer, is in action. Johnson finished with a T13 two weeks ago at the RBC Heritage. The second-ranked player in the world, Justin Thomas, returns for the first time since the Masters.
Fans will get to see Phil Mickelson back at the Valspar for the first time since 2004. The 44-time PGA Tour winner and five-time major champion finished T21 at the Masters his last time out. Past champions in the field are Adam Hadwin and Charl Schwartzel, along with four sponsorship exemptions that include Chase Koepka, brother of Brooks Koepka.
The most recent Valspar went to the wire with Casey pulling out a one-shot victory over a pair of challengers. Casey shot a -8, defeating Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen. Casey shot a 1-over on Sunday that was enough to escape with his second consecutive victory at the Valspar.
The PGA odds list the following as the leading favorites to win the event based on their recent play and matchup situation.
The Top Five Favorites
Justin Thomas (+900)
Thomas has 10 top-25s in 12 events played, including a win at the PLAYERS, T2 at the ZOZO Championship, and a solo third at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The No. 2 player in the world is fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
Dustin Johnson (+1100)
The world No. 1 has appeared in 10 events, making nine cuts and finishing with four top-10s. He finished T6 at the U.S. Open and parlayed that into his second major victory at the Masters in November. Ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
Corey Conners (+2000)
Conners has shown signs of great form over the last two months, with four top-10 finishes. The 29-year old has had success in the state of Florida, with a solo third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and solo seventh at the Players. Three top-15s over his last three starts.
Patrick Reed (+2000)
Reed hasn’t played since a T8 finish at the Masters, but he has six top-15 finishes in 11 events played. Reed was a winner earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and followed with a T9 at the WGC-Workday Championship. Ranks second on tour in putting.
Paul Casey (+2200)
The ‘18 and ‘19 champion returns to defend his title and is a favorite to make it three in a row. Casey missed the cut his last time out at the RBC Heritage but has posted four top-10s in 12 tournaments. Finished T10 at the API and T5 at the Players in his two other starts in the state of Florida.
Outsiders to Watch
Louis Oosthuizen (+3000)
Tied for second here in 2019 and lost in a playoff last weekend at the Zurich Classic two-man tournament. Three other top-10s this season.
Justin Rose (+3500)
Rose appears to be rounding into form after a solo seventh at the Masters and T11 last weekend in Louisiana. He finished finished here in 2018.
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