Splatt Posted March 15 Share Posted March 15 G’day Golfers, After a few weeks of designated events and last week's Players Championship, this week we have a kind of ‘catch your breath’ week before we start the build-up to The Masters. The Valspar Championship at The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is the last stop in the Florida swing and, like The Honda a few weeks ago, you could argue has suffered due to being sandwiched between high-profile designated events. However, like the aforementioned Honda, I think this has the potential to be a banger of an event. The Copperhead Course has always been a bit of a sleeper but being on the same swing as Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass would do that to any course. With a combination of the designated events and the effects of the loss of talent to LIV, the expectations were that this was going to be a weaker field than normal, but when the field list was released, I was pleasantly surprised. Teeing it up at The Copperhead Course are 4 players in the OWGR Top-20 and 10 players in the top-50: that’s certainly not a weak field. For a moment, the field can step aside because the true diva this week is The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort. Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) is a treelined 7,340-yard par-71. Position off the tee will be critical this week, with players being forced to shape it both ways, and in many circumstances, leaving the Big-dog in the bag and taking an iron off the tee. If you thought the similarities between the Valspar and the Honda ended at the designated event sandwich, then that’s where you’d be wrong; the Valspar also has a three-hole stretch with an intimidating name. This week, instead of heading into The Bear Trap, we’re heading into The Snake Pit. The Snake Pit is two tough par-4s sandwiched between a bruising 200-yard par 3; that is a round ruiner if I’ve ever heard one. Last year, Sam Burns defeated Davis Riley to win the Valspar Championship in back-to-back years. Burns closed with a 2-under 69. Riley shot a 1-over 72 but recovered nicely from a triple bogey on the par-5 fifth to finish at 17 under alongside Burns. And on we went to a playoff. The duo both made pars on the first playoff hole before Burns rolled in a 32-foot birdie try on the second playoff hole. Riley missed the green with his approach and couldn’t chip in for a matching birdie, crowning Burns with his second Valspar in a row. Field Highlights · Justin ‘JT’ Thomas – JT is the highest ranked player in the field and the betting favourite but, would I put money on him? His last 3 results are T-60 (Players), T-21 (Arnold Palmer), and T-20 (Genesis). The supportive father in me says these are all tough courses, tough fields, and maybe courses that aren’t 100% suited to him; Copperhead should suit him a bit better and we’ll see JT firing up. The disappointed father in me has me shaking my head and handing him a flyer for a business school. I joke, but as I have said previously when I have JT as a highlight, he is SO MUCH better than he is currently performing. I’m confident we’ll see him in the winner’s circle again sometime soon, and to answer my question earlier, yes I’m betting him this week. Have I got him in my Pick ‘Em? That you’ll have to wait and see. · Sam Burns – Did he win this last year? Yes. Did he win it the year before? Yes. That’s a pretty good record to have heading into this tournament. Obviously, he likes this course, and he has an anti-venom for ‘The Snake Pit’. The only thing that’s stopping me from putting my house on him is his recent record: his last 3 results are T-35, missed-cut, missed-cut. Sam Burns has some good golf left in him and we’re still plenty early in the season. I know I’ll be rooting for the three-peat. · Matt Fitzpatrick – I feel like the theme for this week's field highlights is players that should be killing it but haven’t hit form yet this season. Fitz is a mega-talented player, studious, and fiercely competitive player so, like JT, his recent form is unlike him. MC at The Players, T-14 at the Arnold Palmer, MC at The Genesis, T-29 at the WM Phoenix Open, and an MC at Pebble Beach to list his last 5 tournaments. This course feels like a fit for Fitz: he can be strategic off-the-tee and his iron game is sharp. Also, a T-5 finish here last year boosts my confidence. · Jordan Spieth – We may as well keep with the ‘top player-average result’ theme. Spieth has played in 8 events so far this season and he’s missed 2 cuts, however, he’s had 2 top-10’s and 4 top-25’s. We’ve seen some fantastic golf from Spieth this season, but damn, it can be hard to be a Spieth tragic sometimes. He goes from holing a flop shot from deep rough, to missing close/easy putts regularly, and his PGA Tour record reflects this: he went from a T-63 one week at Pebble Beach to a T-6 the next at the WM Phoenix Open. Last week, he was T-19 at The Players so who knows what he’s going to do this week. · Tommy Fleetwood – To round off the TPAR (top player-average result) we have one of my favs, Tommy Fleetwood. Currently ranked by the OWGR 27th, Tommy is no Splatt behind the golf ball. He’s made a promising amount of cuts this year with 5 out of 6, but it’s his finishes that have me a bit nervous. His last 5: T-27, T-61, T-20, CUT, solo 20. He had a great 3rd round at The Players where he showed some true Tommy potential. Here’s hoping we get the firey, dominating Tommy this week. The full field can be found here. For those in the MGS Pick ‘Em competition, this week isn’t a big money week but it’s definitely a week where you can save some big picks for the majors and some lower-level guys have a pretty decent shot. Golfers, that’s it from me. May your picks make the cut. SPLATT 4 Quote Driver: Speedzone 9.5 degree (love this club) Fairway Wood - Warbird (to be replaced ASAP) Hybrid - SIM2 MAX 19 degree, (not a fan, but getting there) Irons - Warbird 4 iron to PW (to be replaced ASAP) Wedges - MG2 50 degree, T22 54 degree, Hi-Toe 58 degree Putter - Stroke Lab Black Putter - Ten S Ball - E6 (stands for 3-putt apparently) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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