The Tour is heading to Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club’s Copperhead course for the Valspar Championship. The course is a par 71 course that plays a touch over 7,200 yards. In typical Florida fashion, there’s trouble around every corner.
There are 75 bunkers and eight water hazards that the field will have to contend with. We’re sticking with Bermudagrass greens again this week. In four of the past five years, the course has been inside of the top 10 most difficult courses that Tour players will face. Winning scores have ranged anywhere from 7-under to 14-under since 2014. If you want a more in-depth look at the course and trends, head over to yesterday’s article.
Checking the Chalk
If it’s possible to quietly have three straight top tens, including a win, Dustin Johnson ($11,500) is the guy who can accomplish it. He’s averaging 6.7 SG: Approach per week over the past three events. Over that same span, Johnson is third in DK points, per Fantasy National. Even as the most expensive golfer, in a weak field, we could see astronomical ownership this week for the world No. 1 golfer.
Last year’s champion Paul Casey ($9,700) is in the field this week after a disappointing performance last week. Between SG: Approach and SG: Putting he lost about 10 strokes as he ejected from the tournament. It will be an interesting case study on ownership this week with the Englishman.
Since 2010, Patrick Reed ($9,500) has the third-best DK scoring average of anyone in the field with at least two starts. He’s made four of five cuts here including three top 10s. His form is questionable, though, as he has finished outside of the top 20 in four of his seven worldwide starts in 2019. Over his past twelve rounds, he’s only carded five rounds in the 60s.
Jim Furyk ($9,200) had been quietly playing some great golf for months. The volume was raised a bit with the runner-up finish at TPC Sawgrass last weekend. He has course history on his side, as well, having gone 8-for-8 in made cuts here since 2010. Over that span, Furyk has averaged 74.8 DK points, which is good for a 33.4 SOFA (Scoring Over Field Average).
The difference between DJ and Jon Rahm ($11,000) from a raw talent perspective could be up for debate. Some might say it’s a large gap, some might call it close. Either way, the range of outcomes is about the same. Whether you’re measuring cut equity or win equity, it’s pretty close. The $500 savings and the ownership discount make Rahm an interesting play before you even factor in his play. Since January, he’s hit two-thirds of his GIR in six of his seven starts. He also has six finishes inside of the top 12 during that span.
Russell Knox ($8,100) is fifth in the model this week with a 37 percent chance at a top 20.1 According to the model, he’s the best course fit by a large margin among golfers priced between $7,500 and $8,500. Since the start of the year, Knox has hit at least 70 percent of GIR in five of seven starts. In the other two, he still had birdie putts on two-thirds of his holes. The putter has held him back in his last three starts, but he’s keeping his drives in front of him and it’s only a matter of time before putts start dropping.
Bud Cauley ($7,200) is one of the cheaper options that popped in the model. Cauley is definitely more of a GPP play, having made four of his last six cuts. He’s hit the DK bonus in three of those made cuts including two in the top 15. Cauley struck it really well at Sawgrass and will look to carry some momentum into Copperhead.
The cash locks cooled off a bit last week but considering the carnage that drove 6/6 lineups way down, we did alright with a couple of made cuts. Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland finished in 35th and 30th, respectively. That brings our total up to 20/22 (91 percent) made cuts and 13/22 (59 percent) top 20 finishes. Here are the cash locks for this week:
- Jon Rahm ($11,000)
- Russell Knox ($8,100)
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||8800||0.49||10.40|
|Cheng Tsung Pan||7000||0.83||1.70|
|Jose de Jesus Rodriguez||6600||0.01||0.80|
|Billy Hurley III||6200||0.25||0.10|
- He represents the best betting value for a T20, as well. (back)