Valspar Championship Tips, Valspar Championship Picks

valspar championship tips & predictions
valspar championship tips & predictions

The Valspar Championship is played annually on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The tournament was founded in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Classic. From 2003 to 2006, the event had a slot in the schedule as the last full-field event before the Tour Championship.

Course Overview

The topography of the Copperhead Golf Course in unlike what one would expect from Florida golf. The layout is defined by the rolling terrain, with many uphill and downhill tee shots, elevation changes and tree-lined fairways.

At more than 7,300 yards from the back tees, it is also known for being a lengthy challenge. The golf course utilizes the natural water hazards of lakes and ponds that are scattered throughout the property.

Copperhead boasts the usual serving of four Par 5s but unusally for a Par 71 it has five Par 3s, three of which are found on the back nine. The final three-hole stretch of the Copperhead Course is known as the ‘The Snake Pit‘ and is one of the toughest finishes at a non-major. It is a 1,120-yard collection of hazards stretched over three holes.

The 2011 Champion, Gary Woodland best sums up the ‘Snake Pit’ –

“There is not a birdie hole the last three holes. If you’re two back and have signed your scorecard and the leaders are still out there, you’re definitely hanging around to see what happens.”

Copperhead is a complete test of golf and those with aspirations of winning will have to drive accurately, hit a high percentage of greens in regulation and putt well. An ability to play in blustery conditions is essential.

The Copperhead Course is a venue that usually suits the accurate type. One look at the past champions will tell that it is a ball-strikers course.

2021 Valspar Championship | Sam Burns

Last year, Sam Burns recorded his first win on the PGA Tour by winning the 2021 Valspar Championship. He closed with a final round -3 (68) for a tournament total of -17 (267). It was enough for a three stroke victory over his nearest rival Keegan Bradley.  

“I’ve worked so hard for this moment”

Sam Burns

Sam Burns
Strokes Gained Category
Strokes Gained Finishing Position
(SG Category)
SGOTT 2.290 16th
SGAPR 3.712 14th
SGARG 1.637 23rd
SGP 9.096 3rd
SGT2G 7.638 5th

A red-hot putter was key to victory for the Louisiana native. He finished 3rd in Strokes Gained Putting which equated to a gain of 9.096 strokes on the field average, or almost 55% of his overall gain for the week. H finished 2nd for Birdies racking up a total of 21 for the tournament. Other stats include T33 for Driving Distance, T19 for Driving Distance, T55 for GIR and 5th for Putts per GIR.

2020 Valspar Championship | Cancelled

The 2020 edition of the tournament was cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

2019 Valspar Championship | Paul Casey

In 2019, Paul Casey successfully defended his Valspar Championship title for his third PGA Tour victory. The Englishman closed with a final round +1 (72) for a -8 (276) total for the tournament. It was enough for a one stroke victory over Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen.

“Today wasn’t easy. Last year’s win was so big. It felt like my first victory as a pro. I’m getting older, but I feel like I’m getting better.”

Paul Casey

Paul Casey
Strokes Gained Category
Strokes Gained Finishing Position
(SG Category)
SGOTT 3.442 6th
SGAPR 4.641 7th
SGARG 3.154 9th
SGP 0.392 43rd
SGT2G 11.238 1st

Superb ball-striking was key to Casey’s success. He finished 1st in the Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green category which equated to a gain of 11.238 strokes or nearly 97% of his overall gain. Other stats for the week include 9th for Driving Accuracy, 11th for Driving Distance, T5 for GIR and 43rd for Strokes Gained Putting.

2018 Valspar Championship | Paul Casey

The 2018 champion, Paul Casey, carded a final round -6 (65) to finish on -10 (274) one stroke clear of Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods. It was the Englishman’s second PGA Tour victory having won the Shell Houston Open back in 2009.

“I’ve won a few times in Europe, but to take this long to get my second victory on the PGA Tour, it’s emotional. I’ve worked so hard, I’m so happy for it”

Paul Casey

Paul Casey
Strokes Gained Category
Strokes Gained Finishing Position
(SG Category)
SGOTT -0.180 50th
SGAPR 5.015 7th
SGARG 4.560 3rd
SGP 3.458 15th
SGT2G 9.394 6th

Tee-to-green is where the magic happened for Casey. Three quarters of his overall strokes gained for the tournament came in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, which equated to a gain of 9.394 strokes. The Englishman finished the week T68 for Driving Accuracy, 17th for Driving Distance, T30 for GIR and 15th in Strokes Gained Putting.

2017 Valspar Championship | Adam Hadwin

In 2017, Adam Hadwin survived a late scare to claim his first PGA Tour title. He threw away a two shot lead on the 16th hole hitting his tee shot into the water. However, he kept his nerve to close with two pars for an even par 71 to narrowly edge out Patrick Cantlay.

Adam Hadwin
Strokes Gained Category
Strokes Gained Finishing Position
(SG Category)
SGOTT -0.144 T46
SGAPR 8.196 2nd
SGARG 1.081 25th
SGP 6.881 4th
SGT2G 9.132 5th

The Canadian’s iron play laid the foundation for his victory, gaining a total of 8.196 strokes on the field average from approach shots. This was duly complimented by the flat-stick gaining another 6.881 strokes over the four rounds. He finished the week T27 for Driving Accuracy, 37th for Driving Distance, T5 for GIR and 4th in Strokes Gained Putting.

2016 Valspar Championship | Charl Schwartzel

In 2016, Charl Schwartzel won the Valspar Championship in a playoff with Bill Haas. It was his first win on Tour since winning the Green Jacket in 2011. He carded a final round 67 which was 5.2 strokes better than the field average.

The South African won on the strength of his approach shots which accounted for 61 percent of his total gain on the field. Schwartzel finished the week T29 for Driving Distance, T65 for Driving Accuracy, T10 for Greens in Regulation and T12 for Strokes Gained Putting.

Valspar Championship Winning Formula

The following table details the Average Strokes Gained in each of the key strokes gained categories for the past four champions of the Valspar Championship.

Last 4 Champions
Strokes Gained Category
Average Strokes Gained Average Finishing
Position SG Category
SGOTT 1.352 30th
SGAPR 5.391 8th
SGARG 2.608 15th
SGP 4.957 16th
SGT2G 9.351 4th

Graphing the above Average Strokes Gained gives a visual check on the likely key areas required for success at this week’s Valspar Championship.

Valspar Championship Tips

Please check back on Tuesday 15th March for the PGAgolfbets’ Valspar Championship tips & predictions 2022 from Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The Event Form, Current Form and Stats Analysis tables will all be up dated in the week preceding the tournament when the field is finalised for the 2022 Valspar Championship.

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Author: Timmothy Castro