PGA Power Rankings: Top 5 for the Valspar Championship
PGA Power Rankings: Top 5 for the Valspar Championship
We just saw Scottie Scheffler put on a clinic and return to the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world after he won The PLAYERS Championship by five strokes (-17) over the field at TPC Sawgrass. His short game and putting were on a different level than everyone else, collecting his second outright win in his past four events played. Fortunately for those players competing at the Valspar Championship on Thursday, Scheffler will not be in attendance.
Don't get it twisted. There is no shortage of firepower in the field set for Valspar this weekend, ranging from Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth to defending back-to-back champion Sam Burns, who will look to record his third consecutive win at Valspar. Don't sleep on players like Tomy Fleetwood and Denny McCarthy either, as they both looked strong during their four rounds at TPC Sawgrass. Other veterans such as Justin Rose and Adam Hadwin will be in contention based on their current form and previous experience at Copperhead, making them quality sleeper picks for an outright win in a field that doesn't have Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, and Patrick Cantlay amongst others.
Innisbrook Golf Resort Copperhead course is a par 71 that tips at 7,228 yards. It's a signature Florida course, meaning it's replete with water hazards, plenty of sand bunkers, and lengthy doglegged fairways that will test the power and accuracy of players' tee shots. Burns won with -17-under-par as his final score in 2021 and 2022, dethroning Paul Casey's back-to-back titles, where he only delivered -10-under-par as his lowest score. Let's take a closer look at the opening tee times, the current top ten odds, and the layout of Copperhead before diving into my power rankings entering the 2023 Valspar Championship.
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Valspar Championship Start Time and Where to Watch
- Date - Thursday, March 16th - Sunday, March 19th, 2023
- Opening Tee Time - 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET
- Where - Innisbrook Golf Resort Copperhead Course, Palm Harbor, Florida
- Where to Watch - ESPN+, Golf Channel, NBC
Click here for Valspar Championship odds
Valspar Championship Odds
Valspar Championship Course
Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course is a par 71 track that extends close to 7,300 yards. It's a challenging track that begins with a par 5 on the first hole while providing three other par 5 opportunities for players to attempt adding red to their scorecard. Designed by Larry Packard roughly 50 years ago, Copperhead has numerous sand bunkers flanking its fairways and relatively small greens, made even more challenging with lengthy doglegged fairways. There are five par 3 holes at Copperhead, giving a bit of an extra emphasis on strokes gained tee-to-green.
Of course, since we're in Florida, water hazards are a common theme, but errant drives and tee shots could wind up layers into the tree-lined fairways, which we saw cause quite a few problems at TPC Sawgrass last weekend. Scrambling remains a premium at a course like Copperhead, along with consistency off of the tee, which will afford players the ability to hammer their approach shots to find the small-sized Bermudagrass greens. The entire course is comprised of Bermudagrass, which tends to run slower than its bentgrass counterparts.
Valspar Championship Power Rankings
1. Jordan Spieth (+1200) (Bet $100 to collect $1,300) DraftKings has the best odds; click here to bet
Jordan Spieth won at Valspar in 2015, and while we're eight years removed from that victory, the 29-year-old Texan is playing solid golf to begin his 2023 campaign. Spieth has two T10 finishes in his previous four events and began with a resounding three-under-par opening round at TPC Sawgrass last weekend. While he imploded with a +3 round on Friday, Spieth is one of the most talented players around the green and uses his creativity to reach the green and deliver impressive one-putt performances. Oddsmakers have Spieth at 12/1 odds to win outright at the Copperhead course this weekend, behind only Justin Thomas. Still, he's rounding into form, and if he can avoid going over par in all four rounds, expect Spieth to make a run at his first outright win of the 2023 season.
2. Adam Hadwin (+2500) (Bet $100 to collect $2,600) BetMGM has the best odds; click here to bet
35-year-old Canadian Adam Hadwin won at Valspar back in 2017 with a final score of -14-under-par, which saw him start with a -10-under-par across his first two rounds. Hadwin quietly strung together a T13 finish at TPC Sawgrass this past weekend in a much more loaded field, and he's recorded two T10 finishes since the WMPO back in mid-February. He only has one career win, which came at Copperhead, plus he's ranked fifth in par 3 scoring average, 12th putting inside of ten feet, and 14th in approaches from 175-200 yards. There are five par 3 holes at Valspar, so with Hadwin excelling on the toughest holes on golf courses right now, combined with his past championship at Copperhead, he's a quality prospect to bet on ahead of Thursday's opening round.
3. Tommy Fleetwood (+2500) (Bet $100 to collect $2,600) DraftKings has the best odds; click here to bet
One of my favorite players on the PGA Tour right now is Englishman Tommy Fleetwood. The 32-year-old has yet to earn an outright win on the PGA Tour, but he's been runner-up in four separate events during his career, so he's due for a big win based on his current form. Fleetwood logged a T16 at Valspar in 2022, going three or four-under-par in the first three rounds before going even par in the final round, keeping him from the top of the leaderboard during Sam Burns' decisive -17-under-par winning scorecard. He's one of the best with the flat stick, ranking second in overall putting average, second in one-putt percentage, and second in putts per round. His irons are just as sharp, so at 25/1 odds, I love the value we're landing with Fleetwood to secure his first outright win heading into his opening round on Thursday.
4. Justin Rose (+2500) (Bet $100 to collect $2,600) Bet365 has the best odds; click here to bet
Justin Rose has had a resurgence on the PGA Tour this season, logging three T10 finishes and winning at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am a couple of months ago. The 42-year-old Englishman ranks among the top golfers at putting from 20-25 feet, converting 31.2 percent of attempts from that range while ranking fourth in sand save percentage and fourth in going for the green and winding up with birdie or better. Rose ranks 18th in strokes gained overall, including 38th in tee-to-green and 32nd in strokes gained putting. He also finds the green in regulation 69 percent of the time. Rose is coming off a T6 finish (-8) at TPC Sawgrass, vastly improving from consecutive missed cuts following his win at Pebble Beach. Rose missed the cut at Valspar in 2022, but he logged a T5 finish back in 2018, so I like backing him to log his fourth T10 finish of the season based on his current form and momentum.
5. Ben Griffin (+4500) (Bet $100 to collect $4,600) Bet365 has the best odds; click here to bet
Ben Griffin has one of the coolest stories on the PGA Tour right now. After briefly quitting golf, the 26-year-old returned from his hiatus and has looked great at times this season, drawing five T25 finishes and one T10 finish in 14 events. Griffin is not without flaws, like most players, but he ranks second in total birdies, sixth in putts per round in his opening round, and 17th in strokes gained around the green. It also helps to know that Griffin is mentally tough, ranking 28th in scrambling, so not finding the green in regulation as consistently as other players don't prevent him from saving par or sinking difficult birdie putts. Griffin is 45/1 during his debut at Copperhead, but he tends to start fast, so watch out for Griffin to make an early surge up the leaderboard, making him a solid prospect to bet on as a first-round leader.
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Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.