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This week, the PGA Tour stays in Florida for one final week, as a weaker field contests the Valspar Championship, at the famed Copperhead Course. Tom Jacobs makes his sleepers and value picks for the event.

Valspar Championship Sleepers and Value Picks

The Valspar Championship often struggles to get an elite field, now that The Players Championship, the WGC Match Play, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational are all played around the same time. That doesn't mean it is not a good event however, and it certainly doesn't mean it is not one where there is some value to be had.

Justin Thomas is clinging on to his Top 10 status on the OWGR, and he is the sole representative from the Top 10, in the field this week. His buddy, Jordan Spieth is the next highest-ranked player in the field at #12, and in total there are just four players from the World's Top 20.

One of those is Sam Burns who is looking to make it a three-peat here at the Valspar Championship, and the other is the reigning US Open Champion, Matt Fitzpatrick.

Before we get into the Sleepers and Value Picks for the 2023 Valspar Championship, check out this offer from DraftKings Sportsbook. With the DraftKings promo code, you will bet $5, get $200 guaranteed no matter what happens with your first Valspar Championship wager. That;s right, you can effectively boost Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, or any other player to 40-1 this week, and get a $200 bonus, even if they lose.

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What Skillset is Required to Succeed at the 2023 Valspar Championship

Here are the top statistics to look at, ahead of the 2023 Valspar Championship

  • SG: Tee to Green - This event is a ball striker's dream, as just being the longest in the field alone won't be enough to win here. You really need to hit your irons and wedges well, to contend around the Copperhead Course, and each of the last four winners here has ranked 6th or better in SG Tee to Green the week they won.
  • Putting Average - Each of the past four winners has ranked 7th or better in Putting Average the week they have won here, so making putts on these Bermuda greens is essential.
  • Par 5 Scoring - Each of the past four winners of this event have ranked inside the top 4 for Par 5 Scoring the week they won, with two of the four leading the field.

Valspar Championship Trends

To help you with your 2023 Valspar Championship value and sleeper picks, here are multiple trends that might help you narrow down those that can actually contend on the Copperhead Course, at the Innisbrook Resort.

  • The last four renewals have been won by two golfers, Sam Burns, and Paul Casey. Casey defended the title he won in 2018, with another win in 2019 and Sam Burns won in both 2021 and 2022, with the 2020 renewal canceled due to COVID. In total, four players have won this event twice, since its inception in 2000.
  • Each of the last 9 winners of this event had already posted a top 10 on the calendar year
  • Five Players have won both here at the Valspar Championship, and at the John Deere Classic, at TPC Deere Run.
  • Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth have both won here and at Colonial Country Club. Sean O'Hair has won here and finished 2nd at Colonial. John Senden has won here and also finished 2nd twice, and has three top-9 finishes at Colonial. Davis Riley has finished 2nd here and 4th at Colonial. Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak have won at Colonial and finished 2nd here.

These two trends suggest we are looking for:

  • Someone with Valspar Championship experience
  • Someone who has posted a top 10 in 2023
  • Someone who has played well at TPC Deere Run
  • Someone who has played well at Colonial Country Club

The above is limited, but it does appear to be the case that this course suits a certain type of player. Four players account for 8 wins in 21 renewals of this event, and considering how often the same players have played well at Colonial or TPC Deere Run, those courses must be considered as course correlations.

Do Sleeper and Value Picks Win The Valspar Championship?

Here are the pre-tournament odds of the last 10 winners of The Valspar Championship

2022 - Sam Burns +2000

2021 - Sam Burns +7000

2019 - Paul Casey +2500

2018 - Paul Casey +2500

2017 - Adam Hadwin +12500

2016 - Charl Schwartzel +3300

2015 - Jordan Spieth +1600

2014 - John Senden +12500

2013 - Kevin Streelman +20000

2012 - Luke Donald +1100

Value and sleepers have certainly prevailed at this event in the past, and whilst only three players have won since course changes were made in 2016, this feels like it could be wide open. We saw how hard it is to win three in a row, when Paul Casey's run finally came to an end, finishing T21 in 2021, and a similar result for Burns wouldn't surprise.

Looking at Adam Hadwin, John Senden, and Kevin Streelman, it is clear triple-digit golfers can succeed here, and you have to go back to 2012, when Luke Donald was rotating between the best and second-best player in the world, for the last time a favorite won the Valspar. Jordan Spieth did show in 2015 that talent can take over, but is there anyone at the top of the board playing like Donald was in 2012, and Spieth was in 2015? The short answer is no, so things look good for outsiders here.

Value and Sleeper Selections for the 2023 Valpsar Championship

Here are my value and sleeper selections for the 2023 Valspar Championship. All of these plays are +4000 or bigger in the outright market, in order to qualify for the value and sleeper pick criteria!

Davis Riley +4000 Outright (Claim a $1000 First Bet Bonus at BetMGM)

Davis Riley finished 2nd in this event last year, losing out to defending champion, Sam Burns.

Riley impressed on the final day, despite only being able to shoot 72, and it took some brilliance from Burns who loves this course, to stop him. When you consider this is Riley's best effort on TOUR to date, and his second-best performance came at Colonial, a correlating course, it is fair to assume he could go well again this week.

The two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner has found some form recently, finishing T29 at the Honda Classic and T8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in back-to-back weeks, and I take a lot of encouragement from those two results.

I can forgive any player a missed cut at the PLAYERS especially when they are inexperienced, and Riley is that for now.

Riley was never outside the top 6 here last year, taking a lead into the final round and indeed holding onto it until the playoff on Sunday, and considering he shot a Saturday 62, it is clear he loved this test at first glance.

When 29th at the Honda, Riley was 15th going into the final day, and he was 5th at the halfway stage at Bay Hill, before a Saturday 77. Bouncing back with a 66 on Sunday showed plenty of character and form, and I think he will take both into this event this week.

Justin Suh +4000 Outright (Claim a $1000 First Bet Bonus at BetMGM)

Justin Suh finished 5th at the Honda Classic, 6th last week at the Players Championship, and 24th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in between, where his putter let him down.

Clearly then this is a man who is in immense form, as he's now made 11 straight cuts on TOUR and is finally looking to fulfill the potential he's shown both times he's secured a PGA Tour card.

Last year's Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year, Suh will be keen to build on his win at that level, and take the next step as a PGA Tour winner.

Expected to be a West Coast specialist, having gone to college at USC, and now residing in Vegas, it has been Florida that has brought the best out at Suh, and that can continue in a weaker field here at the Valspar.

Suh has ranked 24th or better in SG Approach in four of his last five starts and ranked 2nd in Tee to Green at the Honda and 15th in the same department last week, so his current form leans in perfectly to this event.

Give Suh the chance to capitalize on his recent form, at what looks a decent number in a weak field.

Gary Woodland Outright +4500 (Bet $1, Get $365 Guaranteed With Bet365)

Gary Woodland won this event on his debut way back in 2011, and with 29th, 8th, and 21st place finishes since, he clearly likes this test, especially when in a good run of form coming in.

His recent results may not show it, but ball striking-wise, Woodland is finding his game again, and that is the foundation of his success. Given how important your SG Tee to Green is here, I am happy to take the guy that has ranked 17th, 7th, and 9th in his last three made cuts in that department, and 7th, 3rd, and 16th in the same three events, in SG Approach.

9th at the Genesis Invitational was a strong result for Woodland, and whilst he has only been able to finish 42nd, MC, and 54th either side, I think he can rise to the top here. Woodland was handily placed in 20th going into the weekend at the Players Championship, and while he couldn't hold on, I think he can stick around over the weekend here.

Article Author


Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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