The PGA Tour will finish up its four-leg Florida swing this week at Innsbrook's Copperhead Course. That brings me to my 2023 PGA DFS: Valspar Championship DraftKings Preview.
Scottie Scheffler's win on Sunday was his second victory in 2023. There have been ten PGA Tour events in 2023 and in half of them, either Jon Rahm(3) or Scottie Scheffler(2) has gone on to win. The battle for the top spot in the world of golf is officially a two-person race, with Augusta National, the first golf major of the year approaching quickly.
With the Dell Match Play set to take place next week in Texas. The Valspar Championship will be one of the final two tournaments in the states for players to prepare their games before The Masters.
That would explain why the field this week has plenty of the top 100 players in the OGWR teeing it up. Despite it being only the second non-elevated event in the last six tour stops.
The Valspar is an event where the winning score has only reached double digits twice in the last decade. Sam Burns enters the field as the two-time reigning champion of this event. Last year he was the second player in very recent memory to defend their victory from the previous year.
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2023 PGA DFS: Valspar Championship DraftKings Preview
Some drone shots of @Innisbrook prepping for the @ValsparChamp pic.twitter.com/oVJ7N8vV3U
— Ryan stewart (@rardoryan80) February 14, 2023
The Venue (Innsbrook Resort Copperhead Course)
Innsbrook's Copperhead course is a true shot makers course. This is not a Donald Ross course, but it sure does look and play like one. It features tree-lined fairways making driving the ball very difficult. Even if players are hitting less than a driver off the tee. Players will need to work the ball both ways off the tee and will face many shots into greens from 175+ yards.
A par-71 course with four par 5s and is difficult to go low on. Will put an even greater emphasis on Par 5 scoring this week. There are also five par 3s on this course. I wouldn't call any of the par 3s easy, but not losing strokes to the field on these holes will be a key for anyone trying to find success here.
In the past, this course has mitigated any advantage off the tee and therefore favors top players in approach and scrambling. Copperhead has Bermuda greens which are some of the most pristine greens on tour. Giving an opportunity to players who are Bermuda greens specialists to gain a significant advantage. Last year Sam Burns on his road to the victory gained over five strokes on the field in putting alone.
- TPC Sawgrass
- Harbour Town
- TPC Riverland Highlands
- Colonial CC
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda)
- Good Drives Gained/Strokes Gained Off The Tee
- Strokes Gained Around The Greens/Scrambling
- Proximity 175+ yards
- Par 3 Scoring
- Par 5 Scoring
Highest % winning trends for the #ValsparChampionship
Four players fit all seven trends...
Four players fit six of seven trends...
Not the strongest week for trends.… https://t.co/23gtOMgWSg pic.twitter.com/AVY5Nb9jav
— Ron Klos (@PGASplits101) March 14, 2023
My 2023 PGA DFS: Valspar Championship DraftKings Preview (Lineup)
Sam Burns ($10,200)
I feel like Sam Burns is working out of his slump - some positives last week at Players. I go back to some of the conversations I’ve had with his coach on his lead arm depth at the top. This was a great swing couple years ago when he won his first of two Valspar’s…..turned deep… https://t.co/CdW4WaTFSU pic.twitter.com/BIi0igYbwD
— Travis Fulton (@travisfulton) March 14, 2023
I couldn't resist having the two-time defending champ in my lineup this week. His recent form is not great with two missed cuts in his last four events, but his putting on Bermuda greens is still phenomenal. He's gained at least one shot on the field in every tournament this year with Bermuda greens. Including gaining three strokes on the greens last week at Sawgrass.
Burns' worst finish at this event is a T30 in four appearances. In those four appearances, he has averaged gaining 7.75 strokes on the greens. It is his putting that gives me the confidence to make him the most expensive play in my official lineup this week. I think he is a very safe bet to make the cut and contend.
Another option in this price range: Jordan Spieth $10,600
Denny McCarthy ($9,300)
I missed the Denny McCarthy 40/1 number for Valspar this morning but i'm clicking 33/1 right now
Coming off T13 at PLAYERS
Missed 2 of his last 5 cuts but T4, T14, and PLAYERS T13 in other 3
Currently sitting at 57th in OWGR, and the top 50 make the Masters - motivation
— Sam Wagman (@swagman95) March 13, 2023
McCarthy is an easy addition to my lineup this week. He is in good recent form with three top-14 finishes in his last five events. In those good finishes, he's gained over three strokes on approach and 1.3 strokes or more around the greens on the field.
He's made the cut in all three starts at this event including a top ten. On DraftKings, he's scored 79.5 pts or more in four of his last six starts. He has plenty of motivation for a strong week as you can see in the tweet above with a potential Masters invite on the line.
Another option in this price range: Davis Riley $9,000
Justin Suh ($8,900)
Pasote de #JustinSuh!
Por el collarín, lento rápido lento y termina entrando 😅#THEPLAYERS #AquíGritamosGolf #PGAtour #golf pic.twitter.com/9Zs1esT4iV
— Juan Miralles ⛳️ (@JuanMirallesW) March 12, 2023
Justin Suh is playing great golf during the Florida swing and made one of the greatest putts you will ever see at Sawgrass last weekend. He has two top-ten finishes in those three Florida swing events and his worst finish is 24th in that span. Over his last five events, he's gained over three strokes on the field on approach--a stat that can lead to success at this venue.
Don't be concerned about the fact he has zero career starts at the Valspar. The same could have been said for the Honda and Players where he finished inside the top ten at both events.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,700)
Leaders in SG: Tee-to-Green on the PGA Tour this season:
Rory McIlroy, +2.28
Scottie Scheffler, +1.96
Jon Rahm, +1.72
Tony Finau, +1.66
Collin Morikawa, +1.57
Jhonattan Vegas, +1.45
Patrick Cantlay, +1.43
Max Homa, +1.38
— Underdog Golf (@Underdog__Golf) March 8, 2023
Vegas did not play well last week at The Players but had made the cut in four straight events in 2023 going into that event, including three top-25 finishes in that span. Vegas is a very strong player off the tee and for approaches into the greens. Two stats that could lead to success at this venue this week.
Dylan Wu ($6,800)
Medford native and St Mary's Grad Dylan Wu, inked a partnership deal with southern Oregon based Lithia. The 26-year-old debut the new deal this past weekend at the Players Championship in Florida. Story: @KOBITV pic.twitter.com/R989xcm7xu
— Anthony I Carter (@acarter_TV) March 14, 2023
Wu appears to have turned a corner in his second year on the PGA Tour. He's made the cut in five of his last six starts and has top 35 finishes at three tough events in the AT&T, Honda Classic, and The Players Championship.
Wu historically struggles on the greens but has gained 6.2 shots on the field in his last two events with Bermuda greens. He plays difficult courses well, gaining over five shots on the field combining strokes gained off the tee and approach in those three events mentioned above. I plan to place a wager on Wu to finish inside the top ten and twenty this week.
Another option in this price range: Ben Martin $7,400
Mark Hubbard ($7,100)
Golf Lessons with Nate Bargatze ep. 003
#MarkHubbard #PGAOfficialWorldGolfRanking #PGARanking pic.twitter.com/WS6wJDPdw8
— FOGOLF (@FoGOLF) March 8, 2023
Hubbard has been battling a toe injury. Be sure to check before Thursday morning that he doesn't WD. He had the same injury concern at the Players Championship and he went on to finish T35.
Hubbard was one of the four players to fit the model of six of the seven winning trends for this event. Over his last five PGA starts he's gaining strokes in all major categories on the field with the exception of putting. He has gained 1.3 strokes or more on the greens in two of his last five events. If he can putt the way he did in those events, I expect a similar result here with a finish inside the top 35.
Another option in this price range: David Lingmerth $7,300
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