The 2019 Valspar Championship begins on Thursday, March 21st at the 7,340 -yard Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Northwest of Tampa in Florida.

Golf The Background

Due to the changes in the PGA Tour schedule, the annual tournament which started in 2000, has been moved two weeks back and sandwiched between the Players Championship and the WGC Match Play which attracts many of the world’s top golfer. As a result, this year’s field is doesn’t look very promising although given the circumstances.  Track the 2019 Valspar Championship Live Leaderboard

World #1 Dustin Johnson has committed to play, becoming Vijay Singh, Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth as the only top ranked golfers in the world to join the tournament. Sergio Garcia is back while #10 ranked Jason Day will make his first appearance in the tournament. Bubba Watson also chose to be back as well as 2018 winner Paul Casey.

Last year, Casey snapped a 3,262 drought to win his first PGA Tour event since the 2009 Houston Open. Since then, he won four times but on the European tour. Injuries forced Casey to fall out of the Top 100 golfers list but he battled his way back, made 27 straight cuts and then peaked at Copperhead last year.

Playing nine groups ahead of the final pair, Casey scored a blistering 65 in the final round of the Valspar Championship and waited for the last finishers, hoping that his 10-under par score would hold. It did and victory went to Paul Casey.

Golf The Favorites

On the eve of the Players Championship, newly minted (again) world #1 Dustin Johnson committed to playing at the Valspar Championship. This marks the first time since 2010 that DJ will return to Copperhead course since 2010. Johnson is coming from a T-5 finish at the Player Championship and a victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship last month. As the highest ranked player in the tournament, Johnson is the odds on favorite to win the 2019 Valspar Championship.

Australian Jason Day is also coming off a successful outing at the Players Championship. Day was among four golfers who finished T-8 with a score of 12 under par. Prior to his appearance at Sawgrass, Day withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Aussie had two Top 5 finishes in three tournaments to start his 2019 campaign.

Spain’s Jon Rahm finished one stroke behind Jason Day’s group at the Player Championship and ended up at T-12 in the tournament. Prior to that, Rahm had a disappointing T-45 at the WGC-Mexico after starting 2019 with five straight Top 10 finishes.

Sergio Garcia finished fourth at Copperhead last year and recorded that week’s best round score of six under 65. Garcia finished T-22 at The Players Championship in his last tournament played. Previously, Garcia had five Top-10 finishes in his first six starts of 2019.

Patrick Reed finished T-2 here last year behind winner 2018 winner Paul Casey. Likewise, 2015 winner Charl Schwartzel is also among the Top 10 betting favorites to win at Copperhead.

Here are the list of favorites to win the Valspar Championship. Odds take from William Hill as of 3/18/19:

Players Odds
Dustin Johnson +550
Jason Day +1000
Jon Rahm +1000
Sergio Garcia +1400
Tommy Fleetwood +1600
Patrick Reed +2500
Paul Casey +2500
Webb Simpson +2800
Cameron Smith +3300
Gary Woodland +3300
Charl Schwartzel +4000
Henrik Stenson +4000

Golf Who Wins?

Because of the revamped PGA Tour schedule, the field at the 2019 Valspar Championship isn’t really a murderers row of golfers and the field this year isn’t as strong as the previous years. Last year, Tiger Woods played for the first time since 1996 and placed second to Paul Casey. Given his current form, I have a good feeling that Dustin Johnson is going to follow suit as DJ will be making his first appearance at Copperhead since 2010.

Knowing the Copperhead Course, there is a premium on the position from the tee and into the green. This could be key as Johnson is ranked 4th this year in the PGA Tour when it comes to tee-to-green. I’m picking Dustin Johnson to win the 2019 Valspar Championship.

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