Horses for Courses: Valspar Championship 2022

Paul Casey has WD from the Paul Casey Invitational this year so our stable will be one light. Plenty of others looking to move up that career money list ranking this week!

No breaks in this spring schedule as the Florida Swing wraps up at the difficult Copperhead Course at Innisbrook just outside of Tampa.


RELATED: Expert Picks | The First Look


I’d argue the stretch from Riviera thru Copperhead is the most difficult five weeks on TOUR when the schedule lines up the way it did this year. The Kikuyu and Poa of Los Angeles is replaced with TifEagle Bermuda, The Bear Trap, Florida wind and weather at Bay Hill, Pete Dye at TPC Sawgrass and closing the trip with a visit to The Snake Pit.

Larry Packard’s old school Florida design features five Par-3 holes and four Par-5 holes on the 7,340 yard layout. TifEagle Bermuda features for the fourth consecutive week on TOUR so that won’t be an issue. Finding GIR and scrambling for pars will be. After flat walks at Honda, Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass, elevation changes return and so do oak trees protecting dog legs.  

The 2021 edition was played in late April/early May and produced the lowest winning score since Halloween of 2004. Sam Burns and his 17-under was two shots better than the winter record of 15-under set by Gary Woodland in 2011 on his debut. It’s back to March and the event follows THE PLAYERS Championship just as it did in 2019. Unlike the event last week, the forecast for this week is beautiful and the west coast of Florida has been sunny and dry.

The field of 144 is playing for a prize pool of $7.8 million with the winner taking home $1.404 million plus 500 FedExCup points. The top 65 and ties will play the final two rounds.

Let’s find some horses for courses!

Horses for Courses

Recent Winners
entered this week
(cuts made/events entered)
Top 10Top 252022 BET MGM ODDS
Win, Top 10, Top 20
    
2021: Sam Burns (3/3)12+2000; +150; -125
2017: Adam Hadwin (3/6)12+5000; +400; +200
2016: Charl Schwartzel (4/6)23+30000; +2000; +600
    
Veteran Presence
entered this week
(cuts made/events entered)
Top 10s Top 252022 BET MGM ODDS
Win, Top 10, Top 20
    
Cameron Tringale (5/9)24+6600; +500; +250
Vaughn Taylor (6/11)12+20000; +1200; +250
Troy Merritt (2/8)22+15000; +1000; +400
Louis Oosthuizen (5/8)35+2000; +150; -125
Jason Kokrak (6/10)35+3500; +275; +135
Bubba Watson (5/9)24+4000; +333; +175
Luke Donald (11/12)57+35000; +2500; +1000
Scott Stallings (5/10)22+15000; +1000; +400
Branden Grace (3/5)11+20000; +1200; +450
Webb Simpson (6/10)35+5000; +400; +200
Jim Herman (1/5)11+30000; +2000; +600
Henrik Stenson (5/6)24+25000; +1400; +500
Johh Huh (3/8)12+20000; +1400; +500
Bill Haas (8/11)14+30000; +2000; +600
    
Gaining Traction
entered this week
(cuts made/events entered)
Top 10s Top 252022 BET MGM ODDS
Win, Top 10, Top 20
    
Keegan Bradley (3/6)11+4000; +400; +200
Viktor Hovland (1/1)11+1000; -120; -225
Abraham Ancer (2/2)12+2800; +200; +110
Dustin Johnson (2/4)11+1400; +120; -150
Denny McCarthy (2/2)11+8000; +550; +275
Trey Mullinax (2/3)11+30000; +2000; +600
Wesley Bryan (1/2)11+40000; +2500; +1000
Justin Thomas (3/4)13+1000; -125; -250
    
Past Champions
Entered this week
Top 10s Top 252022 BET MGM ODDS
Win, Top 10, Top 20
    
Kevin Streelman (6/11)23+12500; +800; +350
Gary Woodland (5/10)22+5000; +450; +225
Sean O’Hair (7/15)34+35000; +1400; +500

Odds sourced on Tuesday, March 15 at 1 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.

Recent Event Winner Stats

Stats2021202020192018
WinnerSam BurnsNo EventPaul CaseyPaul Casey
Score17-underCovid- 198-under 10-under
MOV3 11
Cut 1-under 1-over3-over
Age24 4140
Weather IssuesNone None60s early, 70s weekend
Pretournament Odds+6000 +2000+2000
     
All DrivesT17 1622
AccuracyT14 9T68
GIRT35 T5T30
Ball-StrikingT14 138
Proximity10 65T22
Putting: Birdie or Better %2 214
     
SG: Off-the-Tee16 650
SG: Approach-the-Green14 77
SG: Around-the-Green23 93
SG: Putting3 4315
SG: Tee-to-Green5 16
     
ScramblingT30 473
Bogey AvoidanceT14 T31T1 
Par-3 ScoringT27 T24T5
Par-4 ScoringT6 T55T12
Par-5 Scoring1 1T5

Extra Credit (players entered this week only)

2021

Winner Sam Burns became the third winner in six to lead the field in Par-5 scoring (-15) just as he did in 2019 (T30); posted 63 in Round 2 for the lowest of the week. … Keegan Bradley (2nd) opened with 64 to lead and played in the last group in the final two rounds. … Debutant Viktor Hovland (T3) closed with 65 and led the field with 22 birdies. … Cameron Tringale (T3) led the field in Scrambling and Bogey Avoidance with just four squares on the card. … Abraham Ancer (5th) led the field in Fairways and Strokes-Gained: Putting on his second visit. … Veteran Vaughn Taylor (T6) backed up his T18 from 2019 on his last visit as he needed just 98 putts for the week. … Troy Merritt (T8) finished sixth in 2015 and has MC in all of the rest of his visits. … Louis Oosthuizen (T8) picks up his third top 10 in his last four starts and T20 is his WORST finish ever from eight starts. … Justin Thomas (T13) led the field in Eagles (3), Strokes-Gained: Off the Tee, Tee to Green and Approach the Green. … Defending champion Paul Casey (T21; not entered) couldn’t match Steve Stricker as the last player to win the same TOUR event three times running. … Only Jordan Spieth is a younger winner (21) than Burns (24). … Burns and Bradley matched the 36 hole scoring record (-12). … 109 hole outs on the week, a tournament record. … 25 bogey-free rounds but just four on the weekend. … First time scoring was under par for the week since 2012.

2020

Tournament was cancelled after one round because of COVID-19.

2019

Winner Paul Casey (not entered) defended his 2018 title and became the first to do so in tournament history. He’s also the first multiple winner during the winter/spring editions. Like Burns, Casey also led the field in Par-5 scoring (-15). … Jason Kokrak (T2) trailed only Casey in the Ball-Striking department and backed up his T8 from 2018. … Louis Oosthuizen (T2) closed 66-69, led the field in Strokes-Gained: Around the Green and took only 99 putts. … Bubba Watson (T4) led the field in Bogey Avoidance and was in the top three of Scrambling (2nd) and Strokes-Gained: Off the Tee (3rd); T13 in 2021. … Dustin Johnson (T6) played in the final group with Casey and posted 74. … 2012 champion Luke Donald (T9) picked up his fifth top 10. … Denny McCarthy (T9) picked up a top 10 paycheck on his first appearance. … Scott Stallings (T9) led the field in Birdies (19) and sat one off the 36 hole lead; cashed four straight here thru 2021. … Joel Dahmen (T30) opened with 66 to share the first round lead. … The 2019 edition followed THE PLAYERS Championship. … Just five bogey free rounds all week and none on Sunday. … Course played 71.981 for the week. …

Notes:

• Fourth week running on TifEagle Bermuda on the greens.
• Paul Casey is the only multiple winner in the field.
• Last first time winner was Adam Hadwin (2017).
• Padraig Harrington holds the course record of 61 (Round 1, 2012).
• Last playoff: Charl Schwartzel defeated Bill Haas (2016).
• KJ Choi is the only wire-to-wire winner (2002).
• Oldest winner: Mark Calcavecchia (2007).
• Youngest winner: Jordan Spieth (2015).
• Last six winners have won in their 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 2nd and 3rd attempts.
• Matt Kuchar has cashed 10 of 11 but his last visit was 2018.
• Charley Hoffman signed for T18 in the last two editions.
• Russell Knox has a streak of three straight T25 or better.
• Jimmy Walker has posted four straight of T30 or better.
• Bill Haas is on five straight with T13 in 2019 his last visit.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week; Select players with top 10 finishes since 2017.

Par-5 Scoring
RankPlayer
  
3Xander Schauffele
6Webb Simpson
7Brooks Koepka
11Sam Burns
13Brian Harman
13Viktor Hovland
13Louis Oosthuizen
21Jason Kokrak
21Collin Morikawa
21Carlos Ortiz
28Hank Lebioda
28Justin Thomas
30Keegan Bradley
30Patton Kizzire
  
Scrambling
RankPlayer
  
5Webb Simpson
6Abraham Ancer
7Hank Lebioda
8Cameron Tringale
13Louis Oosthuizen
14Brian Harman
16Pat Perez
24Scott Stallings
25Brice Garnett
26Bill Haas
27Vaughn Taylor
29Sean O’Hair
  
Strokes-Gained: Approach
RankPlayer
  
1Collin Morikawa
3Justin Thomas
4Keegan Bradley
9Cam Percy
11Matthew NeSmith
12Emiliano Grillo
13Tyrrell Hatton
14Xander Schauffele
15Viktor Hovland
16Charley Hoffman
18Kyle Stanley
19Shane Lowry
20Russell Knox

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