The PGA Tour finally made it through THE PLAYERS Championship and now they will stay in Florida as they travel to Innisbrook Resort (right outside of Tampa Bay) for the Valspar Championship. Following the tour’s “Fifth Major” is never the spot a tournament wants to be on the schedule. Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Sam Burns are all scheduled to play this week, but it will be important to watch out for players withdrawing from the tournament. That happens a lot when the previous tournament is tough and gets extended a day.
The Copper Head Course is a par 71 which measures 7,340 yards in length. There are a few aspects of the course which make the Copperhead Course unique. There are four par 5s and five par 3s this week. The additional par 3 will make iron play more important at the Valspar Championship.
The second aspect of the course which makes it unique is the “Snake Pit”. These sets of holes are similar to the “Bear Trap” at the Honda Classic.. The “Snake Pit” consists of holes 16, 17 and 18. These are three of the toughest finishing holes on tour. So players should not feel comfortable with their lead until they are in the club house Sunday.
This course is difficult and scoring is usually not too far below par. The Valspar Championship ranked second to last in birdies and eagles on tour in 2022. You will want steady golfers who can rack up pars this week. If they can score a birdie here and there, your lineup will be golden.
Click here to see the course: Innisbrook Resort (Copper Head)
KEY STATS FOR VALSPAR
– Ball Striking
– Bogey Avoidance %
– Strokes Gained Par 3s
– Strokes Gained Par 4s (400-450 yards)
– Strokes Gained Par 5s
TOP 30 GOLFER RANKINGS
VALSPAR CASH CONTEST STRATEGY
There will be 144 golfers teeing it up this week with the top 65 and ties making the cut. With only 45% of the field playing the weekend, we need to ensure we get as many golfers through the cut as possible. We should be able to win most of our Cash Contest lineups if we get 5/6 to the weekend but our goal needs to be 6/6. I will be playing a “Balanced Lineup” made up of golfers from the $9K through mid-$7K for my Cash Contests this week. You are gambling too much if you dip below the mid-$7K range with your Cash Contest at the Valspar.
This tournament seems to be a bit top-heavy. The golfers priced above the mid-$9K range are clearly the class of the field and should dominate the top of the leaderboard. For that reason my strategy will be to play a lot of “Stars and Scrubs” lineups in the Tournament Contests. I want at least two of the top golfers in my lineups and pair them with three high upside golfers priced in the low-$7K or upper-$6K range.
VALSPAR TOURNAMENT CONTEST STRATEGY
I really like the $9K and $8K ranges this week. I will have some shares of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, but I rather load up my lineups with the golfers from the $9K and $8K ranges who are in good form right now and pair them with many of the golfers from the $7K range.
CORE GOLFERS FOR VALSPAR
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
ADAM HADWIN ($9,200): Hadwin is my pick to win this week. He ranks at the top in the key stats and course history. The 2023 season has been one of his best ever on tour. Hadwin seems like a player who is going to win this year and the Valspar Championship seems like the tournament where it will happen. Hadwin is a lock for my Cash Contest lineups.
JUSTIN SUH ($8,900): The golfer who is playing the best right now in this tournament is Suh. He finished fifth at the Honda Classic, 24th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and sixth last week at THE PLAYERS. He ranks No. 1 in the field in the key stats if you sort them by the “Florida Swing.” Suh is playing too well to fade right now. He is a good choice for all Cash Contest lineups.
WYNDHAM CLARK ($8,800): The golfer who ranked No. 2 in the key stats this week is Clark. He ranks No. 5 in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green, No. 3 in Shots Gained Approach and No. 9 in Scrambling. Clark has made 10 cuts in a row on tour. He is a safe play with a lot of upside for your Cash Contests this week.
BEN GRIFFIN ($8,400): I have been playing Griffin on the “Florida Swing” and so far he has not disappointed me. Griffen finished 21st at the Honda Classic and 35th at THE PLAYERS last week. He ranks 11th in the Key stats this week, so he has the form and the skills to play well this week. The only thing Griffin does not have is the course history, but I am not worried about it.
BYEONG HUN AN ($7,900): It is a good idea to have good ball-strikers in your lineup at the Valspar Championship and An is one of the best. He ranks No. 17 in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green, No. 9 in Shots Gained Approach and No. 26 overall in the key stats. An had to WD at the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of illness. If you remove that tournament, An had made all of his cuts in 2023. He should be a safe pick for the Cash Contest lineup this week.
DYLAN WU ($6,800): Wu is the most miss-priced golfer on the slate. He has made his last four cuts on tour. That includes a 10th-place finish at the Honda Classic and a 35th place finish last week at THE PLAYERS. Wu ranks 18th in the key stats and he priced under $7K. That is some ridiculous value. The good news about Wu is that even if he plays poorly, it shouldn’t hurt us much because Wu will be highly owned. S0, there is little risk in playing him.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
JUSTIN ROSE ($9,600): There really is no difference in Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose. Both golfers play really good when their game is clicking and they can blow up in a round and miss a cut. Rose is $2K cheaper and his form has been more consistent than Spieth. Rose played well with a sixth-place finish last week in THE PLAYERS. If he plays like that in this weak field, Rose will win for the second time in 2023.
ADAM HADWIN ($9,200): I will eat the chalk with Hadwin this week. Too many DFS players get too cute with their Tournament Contest Lineups and fade the good golfers because of ownership (We saw people fade Jon Rahm because of his ownership and all he did is kept winning). I am not saying Hadwin is Rahm, but he ranks No. 1 in the key stats in No. 3 in course history. I will be contrarian with the rest of the lineup.
WYNDHAM CLARK ($8,800): Clark is another golfer who will be highly owned, but if he finishes in the top-three like I think he will, Clark will still be a good play. Clark has played well in Florida and his breakout is about to happen. I am all in with Clark this week.
VICTOR PEREZ ($7,800): Perez has been lighting up the DP World Tour. He won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (strong field) and then finished 13th and 28th in his next two tournaments. Perez reminds me a lot of Min Woo Lee who came over from the DP World Tour and started finishing in the top-10 in the PGA tournaments. Perez ranks No. 1 in the Shots Gained Stats (because he played against weaker talent), but when I weight be field strength he is No. 20th (Still not bad). I will take a chance with Perez this week.
BEN MARTIN ($7,400): There are a lot of reasons to like Martin this week. He has made his last two cuts at the Valspar Championship, so his course history is good. He has made his last three cuts on tour, including a fifth-place finish at the Honda Classic, so his form is good. He ranks No. 5 in the key stats, so he has all of the tools to play well this week. The numbers scream “Play Ben Martin” so I will do it.
BEN MARTIN ($7,400): I usually do not like playing the same golfers in the Cash and Tournament Contest lineups, because I want to write about as many golfers as possible to give you an idea of the golfers I like each week. Martin fits this spot perfectly and I doubt his ownership will be too high. I will take a chance with him in both lineups this week.
KRAMER HICKOK ($7,200): Do you like good form and good stats? If so, Hickok is your golfer. He finished 14th at the Honda Classic and 44th last week at THE PLAYERS. Hickok ranked 25th in the key stats this week, mostly because he ranked No. 2 in the field in Bogey Avoidance. Par is your friend at the Copper Head Course and Hickok should score a lot of them, with just enough birdies to make him a good play.
* This lineup is better for Single-Entry Tournament Contests because it has a lot of ownership, but it should score well.
Here are my lineups for Multi-Entry Tournament Contest: ( FantasyRacingTips)
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
PGATOUR.COM FANTASY PICKS
* This is the first tournament of Segment 3. There are 11 tournaments in this segment, including the Masters and the PGA Championship. We will need our top golfers for the majors, so use your allocations wisely in Segment 3.
FANTASY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP ONE & DONE PICK: ADAM HADWIN (Valspar)
Players in Fantasy Golf Championship One & Done so far: Rory McIlroy (MC), Will Zalatoris (53rd), Matt Kuchar (MC), Tony Finau (20), Xander Schauffele (10th), Seamus Power (15th), Max Homa (1st), Brian Harman (MC), and Corey Conners (12th)
SEASON LONG ONE & DONE PICK: ADAM HADWIN (Valspar)
Players Used This Season in One & Done: Rory McIlroy (MC), Will Zallatoris (53rd), Sungjae Im (42nd), Max Homa (2), Xander Schauffele (10th), Jordan Spieth (63rd), Jon Rahm (7th), Taylor Montgomery (5th), Russell Henley (32nd), Seamus Power (25th), Brian Harman (2nd), Maverick McNealy (27th), Emiliano Grillo (42nd), Nick Hardy (28th), Terrell Hatton (13TH) Christian Bezuidenhout (29th), Cameron Davis (37th), Denny McCarthy (39th), Brendon Steele (CUT)
VALSPAR BEST BETS
ADAM HADWIN (22-1)
WYNDHAM CLARK (35-1)
JUSTIN SUH (35-1)
BEN GRIFFIN (45-1)
LOG SHOT SPECIAL: VICTOR PEREZ (65-1)
Good Luck This Week!!!!
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