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Mar 20, 2024 12:17 pm

2024 Valspar Championship: Preview, Props, Best Bets

justin thomas

The PGA Tour concludes its annual “Florida Swing” with this week’s Valspar Championship, which begins Thursday on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The field features two of the top 10 players in the world rankings, and our golf experts preview the event along with their favorite prop picks and best bets to win this week.

VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Location: Palm Harbor, Fla., March 21-24
Course: Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course (Par 71, 7,340 yards)
Purse: $8.4M (Winner: $1.512M)
Defending Champion: Taylor Moore
FedEx Cup Leader: Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m.
X: @ValsparChamp

PROP PICKS
–Matt NeSmith to Beat Webb Simpson (-110 at DraftKings): NeSmith tied for third here two years ago and is coming off a solid T26 at The Players after missing three of his previous four cuts. Simpson has plummeted to 235th in the world rankings and hasn’t finished better than T30 in his past seven starts dating back to September.
–Cameron Young to Finish Top 20 (+120 at BetMGM): Young is still seeking his first PGA Tour victory, which could come this week against a softer field. He’s +500 to win the tournament, but we like the safety net and a still solid payout until Young proves he can close on Sunday. He followed three consecutive top-20s with a T36 at Bay Hill and a T54 at The Players.
–Doug Ghim to Beat Min Woo Lee Round 1 (-110 at DraftKings): Ghim has quietly put together five consecutive top-20 finishes, highlighted by a T16 at The Players. He also finished T27 here last year and has more course knowledge than Lee, who is playing many PGA Tour stops for the first time as a tour rookie. Lee is the bigger household name, but he hasn’t been in top form, posting a T54 at TPC Sawgrass and a T44 at Bay Hill after a T2 at the Cognizant Classic.

2024 Prop Picks Record: 16-16-1

BEST BETS
–Xander Schauffele (+800 at BetMGM) wasn’t able to close the deal on Sunday — again — at The Players. Can he rebound mentally to claim a win against a more modest field? He does have five top-10s in seven events this season. His is the book’s biggest liability this week, as Schauffele leads the field with 19.4 percent of the money backing him to win.
–Sam Burns (+1100) followed four consecutive top-10s with a T30 and a T45 the past two weeks. But the 2021 and 2022 Valspar champion also finished sixth at Innisbrook last year. Burns is third this week with 6.4 percent of the total bets backing him.
–Jordan Spieth (+1400) opened the year with a third at The Sentry and added a T6 in Phoenix but has a missed cut and a DQ among his past three starts. He won the Valspar in 2015 and tied for third last year.
–Justin Thomas (+1400) is coming off his second missed cut in three starts following a string of seven consecutive T12s or better. He’s BetMGM’s third biggest liability this week, having drawn 10.9 percent of the total money.
–Brian Harman (+2000) missed out on a playoff at The Players by a single shot following a T12 at Bay Hill. He has missed the cut in five of his past six appearances at the event. Harman is the book’s second biggest liability as he has been backed by the second most bets and the third most money at 9.2 percent in both markets.

NOTES
–World No. 7 Patrick Cantlay withdrew on Sunday, leaving No. 5 Xander Schauffele and No. 8 Brian Harman as the lone top-10 players in the field. No. 20 Tom Kim also withdrew over the weekend.
–The closing three holes on the Copperhead Course are known as the “Snake Pit,” featuring a pair of difficult par-4s sandwiching the 200-yard par-3.
–University of Florida teammates Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo are in the field. Biondi is coming off a T32 in Puerto Rico, while Castillo will be making his non-major PGA Tour debut.
–European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald is among the sponsors invites, along with Ryan Palmer.
–Vijay Singh holds the tournament scoring record of 266 set in 2004, while Matt NeSmith (Round 2, 2022) and Padraig Harrington (Round 1, 2012) share the 18-hole record of 10-under 61.

–Field Level Media

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