Mar 07

2014 Valspar Championship Expert Golf Picks & Fantasy Predictions

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GolfStrat’s Expert Fantasy Golf Picks
“2014 Valspar Championship”

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2014 Valspar Championship

The Valspar Championship has been known by any number of names, including the Tampa Bay Clasic, Chrysler Championship, PODS Championship, Transitions Championship, and now the Valspar Championship. Crazy. Hopefully they’ll be able to keep their sponsor for a few years. It’s played at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. Former champions include a host of big names and a few up and comers: Kevin Streelman (2013), Luke Donald (2012), Gary Woodland (2011), Jim Furyk (2010), Retief Goosen (2009, 2003), Sean O’Hair (2008), Mark Calcavecchia (2007), KJ Choi (2006, 2002), Carl Petterson (2005), and Vijay Singh (2004).

The par 71, 7,300+ yard Copperhead Golf Course offers a big challenge for the professionals heading across the state this week. It has more elevation change, more trees, and a different overall feel compared to most Florida golf courses. Past winners have included solid ball strikers like Donald, Furyk, Choi and Goosen, but Gary Woodland also won here, so it’s not that long hitters can’t contend. Note that Donald lives in the area and has a little home city advantage here.

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DAILY YAHOO FANTASY GOLF STARTERS
Group A
Group B
Group B
Group C
Round 4
Luke Donald
Jordan Spieth
Justin Rose
Harris English
Round 4 Notes
  • Round 3 Update: Another wonderful weather day. Donald and Rose led the charge and put themselves in position to make a run for the title on Sunday. Garrigus missed a few putts and Na had some problems with his pre-shot routine, so both could potentially give up some shots on Sunday and let others down the leaderboard back in it. Despite a bad day, English managed to make the “2nd cut” so we can hopefully not post another zero on Sunday from the C group. A decent amount of people had Perez who didn’t do any better. Based on a rough sampling of the top fantasy golf teams, we should pick up points on 80+% of the field today.
  • Round 4 thoughts: The Sunday forecast is for high winds, with players teeing off in the first hour of tee times potentially getting a slightly benefit. It doesn’t do much for our team as most of them in our in the top half of the field. Look for windy conditions, slick greens, and higher scores compared to today – wind + pressure = not a good combination.
  • A: Donald is a solid ball striker and is within range so we’ll start him in the hopes he makes a run on Sunday.
  • B: Spieth continues to be erratic (some great shots, some missed putts, and some throw away bogeys). We hope he puts it all together on Sunday and climbs into contention. Rose moved up to 4th today and has played well despite a bogey on 18. He could win this thing and that would be huge for our team as many people left Rose out of their lineups this week.
  • C: Harris English is still playing, so we count ourselves thankful.


YAHOO SPORTS FANTASY PICKS
Player
Recent Finishes
“Valspar” Finishes
Comments
(A) Luke Donald (26) WGC Cadillac
(8) Honda
(57) Qatar Masters
(37) Abu Dhabi
(4) 2013
(1) 2012
(6) 2010
Luke lives in the Tampa area and helps keep the field at Valspar in good shape. He’s won here before and is starting to play a little better starting at the Honda and continuing at the WGC Cadillac.
(A) Matt Kuchar (13) WGC Cadillac
Won 3 at Match Play
(CUT) Northern Trust
(8) Sony Open
(14) 2013
(10) 2012
(12) 2009
Kuchar hung in during the wind swept WGC Cadillac Championship this past weekend. Nothing spectacular recently but he has the game to contend and has contended at Copperhead previously. It was very close between him and our #3 – Gary Woodland. Others to consider (in order): #4 Daniel Summerhays, #5 Charles Howell III, #6 Marc Leishman, #7 Brandt Snedeker.
(B) Jordan Spieth (34) WGC Cadillac
Won 3 at Match Play
(12) Northern Trust
(4) AT&T Pebble Beach
(7) 2013
Jordan bounced back in the final round at the WGC Cadillac and still boasts a nice resume so far this season. He’s a little inconsistent for our tastes, but he has the confidence to contend each and every week if a few putts roll in. 7th in his first start in Tampa last year is a good sign.
(B) Jason Dufner (9) WGC Cadillac
Won 2 at Match Play
(65) Northern Trust
(29) Sony Open
(21) 2013
(10) 2012
(28) 2011
(28) 2010
(17) 2010
Consistent track record at Copperhead, but hasn’t played up to potential so far this year. Had a chance at the WGC Cadillac but let it slip away early. His game is moving in the right direction, so this week is a good time for another top 10.
(B) Justin Rose (34) WGC Cadillac
Won 1 at Match Play
(45) Northern Trust
(29) 2012
(5) 2011
(13) 2010
(14) 2009
We’ll have to check in with him later this week to see how his injury stands. If he’s good to go, then we’ll put him in on our bench this week and see how things go. He’s slowly getting back into the swing of things, so going to a course where he’s performed well in the past should help. Let’s hope we don’t have to send out a Rose alert this week.
(B) Bill Haas (6) WGC Cadillac
(23) Northern Trust
(34) Waste Mgmt
(43) Farmers
(CUT) 2011
(16) 2010
(CUT) 2009
(30) 2008
Haas’ game is heading in the right direction the past 4 tournaments, so hopefully he’ll peak at Valspar. This was a tougher decision given Jim Furyk’s great track record at Copperhead, but we feel it’s better to go with Haas’ recent play than to hope Furyk can get his game together in less than a week – he didn’t break 75 in four rounds at the WGC Cadillac this past week. Others to consider (in order): #5 Jim Furyk, #6 Webb Simpson, #7 Kevin Streelman, #8 Bryce Molder, #9 Graham DeLaet, #10 Ernie Els
(C) Harris English (16) WGC Cadillac
Won 2 at Match Play
(10) Northern Trust
(9) Waste Mgmt
(7) 2013
(CUT) 2012
Short track record at Valspar, but 7th place finish last year shows he knows the course now and he continued his consistent play at WGC Cadillac. Luckily we preserved a start this past week so we can burn that here.
(C) Louis Oosthuizen (40) WGC Cadillac
Won 3 at Match Play
(CUT) Northern Trust
(1) Volvo Champions
(CUT) 2013
(20) 2012
There are others who you should at least consider here, but Louis beat out the crowd by just a small margin. He’s still one of the better players in the world and has a victory us just a few months ago. Others that are close and should be considered (in order): #3 George McNeill, #4 Will MacKenzie, #5 Cameron Tringale, #6 Pat Perez, #7 Kevin Na, #8 Russell Knox, #9 Matteo Manassero, #10 Branden Grace


PGATOUR.com FANTASY GOLF PREDICTIONS
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Player
Recent Finishes
“Valspar” Finishes
Harris English (16) WGC Cadillac
Won 2 at Match Play
(10) Northern Trust
(9) Waste Mgmt
(7) 2013
(CUT) 2012
Matt Kuchar (13) WGC Cadillac
Won 3 at Match Play
(CUT) Northern Trust
(8) Sony Open
(14) 2013
(10) 2012
(12) 2009
Luke Donald (26) WGC Cadillac
(8) Honda
(57) Qatar Masters
(37) Abu Dhabi
(4) 2013
(1) 2012
(6) 2010
Jordan Spieth (34) WGC Cadillac
Won 3 at Match Play
(12) Northern Trust
(4) AT&T Pebble Beach
(7) 2013


VALSPAR BETTING ODDS / SPREAD
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Jordan Spieth (16/1) Jason Dufner (25/1) Graham DeLaet (33/1) Ernie Els (50/1) Charles Howell III (66/1)
Harris English (16/1) Webb Simpson (28/1) Kevin Streelman (40/1) Pat Perez (50/1) Louis Oosthuizen (66/1)
Matt Kuchar (20/1) Jim Furyk (28/1) Brandt Snedeker (40/1) Will MacKenzie (50/1) Chesson Hadley (66/1)
Luke Donald (20/1) Bill Haas (28/1) Cameron Tringale (40/1) Charley Hoffman (50/1) Matt Every (66/1)
Justin Rose (22/1) Gary Woodland (33/1) KJ Choi (50/1) Russell Knox (55/1) Odds by SkyBet 3/11/14



GOLF CHANNEL EXPERT PREDICTIONS
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Valspar Championship
Starter
Someone to Consider
Group 1
Jordan Spieth Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar
Group 2
Harris English Bill Haas, Gary Woodland
Group 3
Bryce Molder Daniel Summerhays, Will MacKenzie, Cameron Tringale
Group 4
George McNeill Richard H. Lee, Stuart Appleby, Billy Hurley III

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