Who are some players who could exceed at the Valspar Championship?
This week’s tournament is the Valspar Championship, a par 71 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. There are five par 3s this week and four par 5s, which should make the scoring more interesting than usual. The defending champion is Jordan Spieth, who emerged from a playoff victory against Sean O’Hair and Patrick Reed.
Jordan Spieth ($12,800): The defending champion has been okay lately, with four top-25s in his last five events. There were a lot of different stats to look at this week, and Spieth ranked in the top-75 in all of them (Par 4 Scoring Average, SG:TTG, Scrambling, Par 5 Scoring Average, Driving Accuracy, Approach from 200-225 Yards, and APEX). He hasn’t finished worse than T-20th at this course in the last three years, so clearly this course suits him well.
Matt Kuchar ($9,800): If you want a made cut this week, I don’t think there is anyone in the field safer than Matt Kuchar. He has made his last 17 cuts dating back to last year, and is 4/4 at this event as well. He is statistically sound as well, not ranking outside the top 100 in any of the seven stats. On courses where driving distance isn’t a huge advantage, Kuchar is someone you can expect will take advantage.
Bill Haas ($8,500): I love Haas this week. He’s being overlooked this week by many, but I believe this is a week where he is going to break out of his mini slump in a big way. He finished T-14th here a few weeks ago, and is statistically great for the course, ranking top-70 in every stat except for Approaches from 200-225 Yards. At this course, a lot of the holes will be played with clubs that are less than driver off the tee, and Haas excels at courses like that. He’s my pick to win it this week.
Danny Lee ($8,000): Lee has also been in a little bit of a slump, but he’s still been getting to the weekend most of the time. Last year he finished seventh place here, and I believe he’s a better player than before. Statistically, he is also one of the best fits of the week. He’s not so strong at Par 5s, but besides that stat, he is ranked inside the top-60. He should make it to the weekend for sure, and a good pay day could be on the way.
Sean O’Hair ($7,800): Last year, O’Hair lost in the playoffs against Spieth. He’s made the cut here three years in a row, and is coming in with great form, having made six of eight cuts this year with five top 35s. I think he will be a popular play in DFS, and for good reason.
Sung Kang ($7,700): Since getting Jim Furyk’s caddie to be his caddie while Furyk is injured, Kang has put together three consecutive top-20s. He has made the cut here both times he has tried in the last four years, so there is comfort at the course as well.
Chez Reavie ($7,300): Reavie is coming into this week in good form, with a seventh place showing last tournament, and a 26th place finish before that. Statistically, he should dominate this course. He is ranked inside the top-25 in Par 4 Scoring Average, SG:TTG, Scrambling, Driving Accuracy, and Approach from 200-225 Yards. Although he missed the cut last year, he is three for four at this course in the last five years, and is playing at a much higher level right now then he was last year.
Mark Hubbard ($5,700): Although he hasn’t ever played this course, there is a great chance he makes the cut. He has made 11/12 this year, and is statistically fine as well. He ranks well in all stats but SG:TTG and Approach from 200-225 Yards. He’s unlikely to place highly, but for the price you just need him to make the cut and you are happy.
Edited by Emily Berman.
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