With plenty of lucky charms to go around after Rory McIlroy’s St. Patrick’s Day win, the oracle returns to pick a pudgy-priced winner from a competitive Valspar Championship field.
Nice to see DJ, Jason Day and Jon Rahm in the field at Palm Harbour after The Players and with Tiger not here this year, it adds star power to the field. DJ starts favourite at 5/1 with Rahm looking primed for a win at 9/1. Crazy short odds in my opinion though given that this is traditionally the toughest course on the PGA Tour and hasn’t been kind to favourites.
Doc’s Top-5 Each Way Bets
Patrick Reed 25/1
You just have to have Pat Reed on your betslip on a course like Copperhead. Granted his current form is patchy at best, he climbed the leaderboard at The Players only to shoot 78 Sunday, but you’ll want a fighter, a battler, a sticker on this treacherous par-71 and he’s been T2 twice and T7 in his last four visits here.
Webb Simpson 20/1
Probably not in as solid a form line as when scoring a T8 here last year but Webb Simpson is driving the ball well and he’s registering tournament winning putting numbers; he just needs a better week with his irons. T16 at Sawgrass was a good improvement and he’ll be confident of charming the Snake Pit!
Paul Casey 25/1
Very surprised to see defending champion Paul Casey out at 25/1 this week, but great for us and place betting. He’s out at these odds because of a 78 in round one at The Players last week which led to a missed cut, but that’ll mean he’ll arrive at Innisbrook fresher than many. T3 in Mexico, 2nd at Pebble and Casey continues to dominate the Greens In Regulation stats; something that will again be critical this week.
Jim Furyk 33/1
Winner pre-renovation here in 2010, seventh last year and how brilliant was it to see Jim Furyk playing great golf again in Sawgrass last week? The only worry is the physical toll that effort has taken on the 48-year old heading to one of the most attritional courses on the calendar.
Jason Kokrak 50/1
T47 at The Players last week but has been top-20 in the Greens in Regulation stats in his last four starts and on this course, that kind of form will yield a much better dividend. Top-10’s at the Arnie and Honda say Jason can improve on his T8 here last year.
Long Odds Glory Shots
Three players worth a mention at 66/1
Russell Knox: A great putter on his day, can play in wind and a tough par-71 will suit him.
Adam Hadwin: The 2017 champ was T2 at the Desert Classic this year and is one to watch.
Charl Schwartzel: About as consistent as broadband in Ireland but also a former winner here with undeniable pedigree.