The PGA travels to the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship this week. Before I hop into a course and tournament breakdown, I’d like to recap the week that was the Players Championship.
Players Championship Week In Review
A golfer I wrote about a few weeks back, Tom Hoge, was one of the highlights of the player’s championship weekend. Hoge made the cut on the number at +2 and proceeded to shoot a course record 10-under 62, which set a new record for the lowest round in the players championships history. Before Hoge set the new course record, only nine players had shot 63 at TPC Sawgrass at the Players Championship.
Hoge went on to finish strongly on Sunday and earned himself a finishing position of T-3. The result was the best performance of Hoge’s career on the PGA Tour. In the end, however, Scottie Scheffler was just too much for the field and even TPC Sawgrass to handle. Scheffler finished 5 shots clear of the field and proved to be by far the most in-form golfer on tour currently. I expect Scheffler to be the betting favorite to win the Masters behind only John Rahm.
Copperhead Golf Course
The Copperhead course is most famous for its “Snake Pit” stretch of the course, which refers to holes 16, 17, and 18. Hole 16 is a 475-yard par 4, Hole 17 is a 215-yard par 3, and Hole 18 is a 445-yard par 4. The final holes playing so difficult provide exciting action, especially on Sundays.
A key similarity between the Players Championship and the Valspar Championship this week is that the greens will read and break in similar fashions. This is because these courses use a combination of Bermuda grass and Poa trivialis.
Another course that utilizes the Bermuda and Poa Trivialis grass combination is the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. How players performed at those two events on the greens specifically could go a long way in determining how their games will translate this week to Innisbrook Golf Course.
The field this week is particularly weak – bettors should look past the betting favorites and look toward players that have longer odds. The differences between each of the players in this field are minimal, and bettors could make a case for just about any player to win this week.
Adam Hadwin is +2200 to win the Valspar Championship. Hadwin ranks 5th among all PGA players in par 3 scoring average and 12th overall in putts made inside 10 feet. If Hadwin can keep his game consistent from tee to green, he should be able to put together a few nice rounds at Innisbrook. It would not shock me to see Hadwin in the hunt as the final groups make the turn into the Snake Pit on Sunday.