The Valspar Championship

Betting, Weather, The Course, Tweets, Stats and More

What a damn finish! Maybe I need to do a short recap at the end of these, cause it feels a little less exciting to talk about it now that it’s been a few days, but good God the last hour of the PLAYERS was just electricity city all over the place, down to the final putt.

Three straight “non-signature” events in row leading to Augusta but so far we’ve seen some decent names atop the field for at least the next two weeks. Scottie will be back on the course in Houston next week and Xander & Harman are going to see if they can win while he’s away here at Innisbrook.

Still, the excitement is palpable, we are wildly close to the first major of the year: the only proper way to measure when spring has arrived.

This week is not too dissimilar from last at least as far as agronomy goes. Not many courses are going to have as much water as Sawgrass, but Copperhead has it’s own defenses that could make this a challenging week. The wind possibly first and foremost of them.

Just because I’m coming off a winner last week, I want to call my shot again with a solo look at the top: Brian Harman is my favorite golfer this week in the winds and rain.

From Ron’s Course Preview on


Sitting on a lovely stretch of property on the Pinellas Peninsula, only minutes from the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa Bay, the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is a par-71 track measuring 7,340 yards. With its extremely tight fairways combined with numerous doglegs and a majority of holes on the longer side, Innisbrook sets up as one of the most demanding courses golfers will play each year. Players hitting less-than-driver off the tee only stretches out the course even further.

Innisbrook demands the ability to hit every type of shot. Said Zach Johnson on the equality of the course, “The beauty of this golf course is that we have seen individuals that hit it left-to-right, right-to-left, maul it and absolutely kill it, and guys that plot their way around. We’ve seen the Furyks win. Sean O’Hair hits it long. Paul Casey is not short. So we have seen every style of golf win here and that’s the beauty of a really good golf course. I feel like it separates and rewards quality golf.”

While the scoring environment may be challenging with the winning score averaging 12-under par over the past dozen years, it is also a fair test of golf. According to anonymous player surveys, it is one of their favorite courses in which to play. Packard explained why he thought this was so: “Copperhead is a tough golf course but it is fair. I designed it so that if you hit a good shot you will be rewarded. There are no gimmicks. I wanted you to have to use every club in your bag.” Scoring is so tough here that it has yielded the second-fewest amount of eagles and the fewest birdies per 72 holes.

Jordan Spieth had this to say on the course in general. “It’s a very difficult golf course. Guys that come out and play well here are likely to play well on the harder courses and the bigger tournaments just because that kind of course suits their game more. You have to work the ball both ways here. It requires all sorts of shots, punch shots, launching it in the air, and obviously some discipline on the greens. It’s tough to hit the fairways and the greens. Greens in regulation will be a very important stat.”

Along with tight fairways and several water hazards, the numerous elevation changes, tricky bunkers, and sloping greens all combine to make Innisbrook a difficult challenge. Though there are six holes with water in play, they are not huge trouble areas as Innisbrook ranked 37th out of 40 courses in penalty strokes last year.

Betting Model

A bit more in-depth of a model this week, but it’s pretty straightforward if you start looking at the things that overlap: Irons/Approach/Finding Greens. Being accurate off the tee is massive, but it still doesn’t mean much if you can’t find your second shot, sometimes with a longer iron.

Here’s what we cooked up for our stats that matter on the Betting Stream this week:

  • SG:T2G - Only 2024 Rounds

  • SG:BS in difficult and very difficult scoring condition rounds - Last Two Years

  • GIR% on “Less the Driver” heavy courses - Last Two Years

  • Good Drive % - Last Two Years

  • Scrambling from the Rough - Last Two Years

  • SG:APP - Last Two Years

  • SG: Putting on Poa Trivialis Greens - Last Two Years

  • Par Five Birdie or Better Rate on courses with Poa Trivialis Greens - Last Two Years

Head to the site and grab a membership if you want to peruse the entire thing, build your own, or check out the other Expert models for the week.

Prices are going up after the Masters, that’s written in ink. But, anyone who is currently a subscriber or becomes one before they head to Butler Cabin that Sunday can lock in the “old” lower prices and continue to pay at that discounted rate when renewal time comes due, until the end of time. questions? Hit us up on Twitter.

Also, still running the $5 Vivid Picks deal for those in states that allow it. Check out the details here.


Finally, some nastiness that isn’t just going to ruin the tournament via rain delays (though that’s something that might happen as well), we are looking at some HEAVY winds coming in over the weekend and possibly some carnage?!!?

I will NOT make a call on a wave advantage as I think we may get hit with the old switcheroo this week. A wave that was looking like it’d have a nice advantage with the winds (PM/AM) suddenly is playing its second round in the afternoon after a lengthy rain delay and actually finds itself in the TOUGHER wave? No thanks. I’m going to spend some time looking deeper into the weather later on tonight and we’ll tweet what we think might be the best course of action.


Woof, betting against Wyndham Clark, eh? At least he didn’t win I suppose. Would have been rough to bet against the guy hoisting the trophy twice in a row. Maybe I need to get back to my bread and butter, a little further down the board. Last week: Lowry > Clark (YTD 7-5, +1.46u)

Valspar Best Matchup Bet: Ghim > Rai -120 (FanDuel)

Both are good off the tee, but longer term Rai has better approach numbers. Lately, though, Ghim has been improving greatly and has gained in SG:APP in the last five stops. He’s also much better on and around the greens. Rai rarely gains anything in the putting, scrambling or ARG categories. I like the Ghim Reaper this week to compete and will have him in placement bets as well.

News and Notes

Per the norm, starting with Justin Ray. Scottie is somehow even better this year so far Tee-to-Green.

Piggy-backing off of that, the Tiger stats from the turn of the century are truly mind-addling and should be revisited whenever possible.

Bobby Mac, throwing shade at the US Ryder Cup team, on the week that a ton of folks saw the Full Swing episode, to boot.

Lest we forget, the LIV players who actually understand how things work and want to put in the effort are playing other events with OWGR and could find themselves in some other major events for their efforts.

Despite all their flaws, at least they seem to have a decent kid in charge of the socials.

And if it’s too early to think about the other majors, it’s certainly too early to think about the next, NEXT Ryder Cup. But man, look at this place…

Live in North Carolina?

Not only are you getting a major on the schedule this year, but sports betting is live and legal and this is your biggest shot at grabbing a ton of bonuses from all the operators. Check out the link for the details on all the best offers.

As always, bet responsibly, have fun, enjoy the Valspar, and hope that this is the week golf gets tough again.