This week, the PGA Tour heads to Florida for the Valspar Championship. The Copperhead course at Innisbrook which hosts this event is one of the more demanding tests on Tour. A premium is going to be placed on ball striking and patience. It is very difficult to overpower this course. I think the winner this week will play conservative off the tee and rely on a hot iron game to succeed. I expect a condensed leaderboard where the difference between winning and 20th could be only four or five shots. Thus, we want to play guys that will hang in there the whole week and hope they catch fire come Sunday.
This field is a bit weaker than normal due to the fact that it is positioned in between WGC events and Bay Hill. With that being said, it may make sense to hold off on picking a stud for your One-and-Done league since the mid-tier players have a better chance to win this week than most others.
Here are some players you should consider putting in my line-up:
Charles Howell – He is the prototype for consistency in the field. He has made six of his last seven cuts at this event including four top 15 finishes. In his last eight starts on the PGA Tour, he has finished in the top 15 in seven of them.
Steve Stricker – If there ever was an event besides the John Deere that I would want to use Stricker, this would be the event. He has recorded top 15 finishes in his last four starts at this event. On top of that, he has made 11 straight cuts on the PGA Tour.
Jason Dufner – He has finished between 10th and 28th in his last seven starts at this event. He has been playing steady as of late with three consecutive top 25s. He may not win the event, but he will help your lineup or earn you some points while saving you a a top player for future weeks.
Jim Furyk – You can’t argue Furyk’s history at this event. He has five top 20’s in his last seven starts at this event highlighted by his 2010 victory. Furyk may not have the prettiest golf game but he can beat his opponent in between the ears by being patient and plodding along on this difficult layout.
Dark-horse pick is: Wesley Bryan – Although not much of a dark horse he is one of the hottest players on Tour right now. He has recorded back to back top four finishes at Riviera and the Honda. He should play conservative off the tee here similar to the Honda which allowed him to lean on his solid iron play and terrific putting.