I’m still coming down from that Playoff last weekend; needed a few days of deep breaths. From Phil asserting his dominance across the property all weekend, to Shubhankar Sharma making a run out of nowhere, to Justin Thomas holing out on the 72nd hole, to a Cameraman almost trampling his ball, to Phil lipping out that putt, and finally ending his drought. It was something else.
We also got the Sixth playoff on Tour in Eight weeks. Unprecedented. Starting the playoff on a par-3 always pisses me off, but I digress. Phil asserted his dominance, won the playoff and is back in the winners circle. But now we’re on to the Valspar. And TIGER
Adam Hadwin rolls into the Snake Pit this week as the Defending Champ, winning a REALLY entertaining event last year over Patrick Cantlay in just Cantlay’s Second event back from a back surgery that had him sidelined for two full seasons.
The Snake Pit by the way, is the finishing stretch at Copperhead’s Innisbrook Course; two really tough par-4’s sandwiched around the par-3 17th. The stretch was the 4th hardest trio of final holes on Tour last season.
The course itself is a 7340 Yard, Par-71 track that is usually a good time for both fans and competitors. There are some really interesting holes and it’s a relatively historic course, so its good to see such a good field go back to Innisbrook. After a small field last week, we’re back to normal this week and there WILL be a cut, which I’m a fan of.
I’m ALSO a fan of Tiger! Its ALWAYS good to see Tiger, whenever or wherever it may be, but he’s making his Valspar debut this week! Committing to play here this week and at the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week. Tiger HAS actually played at Innisbrook before, but it was way back in 1996, in a team event with Kelli Kuehne.
Coming off a 12th at the Honda last week, I’ll be watching closely to see how he handles a course he is a little less familiar with, but is more “gettable” than PGA National was a few weeks ago. It’s a more tree-lined traditional layout so, if he can get off the tee okay – Whether that’s with Driver or Less – He should be able to take advantage of his strong short game. Its sort of becoming the go-to story with Tiger this year, but it is sort of as simple as that. Hit the ball off the tee OKAY, and he will make the cut. Better than that, he can contend, worse, he probably doesn’t play the weekend.
Jordan Spieth, just like Tiger, was also a late commitment to this event, joining the likes of Rory McIlroy, who is making HIS debut too. Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and Henrik Stenson round out the other star players in the field.
Last week I got the winner again, making it THREE weeks in a row. It was a shortened field event so I only did Six total picks. Results:
- Justin Thomas – 2nd Place (Lost in Playoff)
- Tommy Fleetwood – T-14th Place
- Phil Mickelson – WINNER
- Alex Noren – T-14th Place
- Chez Reavie – 52nd Place
- Gary Woodland – 50th Place
This week I go for FOUR Winners in a Row.
Top Tier – Should Contend
- Jordan Spieth – 14th, 9th and 20th Last Three Starts, Top 20 in Last Four Starts here, Won event in 2015, 1st in Field in Bogey Avoidance
- Adam Hadwin – Defending Champion, 9th and 6th Last Two starts on Tour, Has Made all 9 Cuts this season, 1st in Proximity 175-200 Yards (Key Distance this week)
Mid-Tier – Could Content
- Jason Dufner – Made All Six cuts this season, Last Five Starts at Innisbrook: 11th, 22nd, 24th, 14th, 21st
- Kevin Na – Finished 2nd and 20th Last two starts, Good History Here: 22nd, 10th, 2nd, 4 Straight Made Cuts on Tour, 1st in Field in Scrambling
Longshots – Should Make Cut
- Charl Schwartzel – All 8 Cuts made this season, Won here in 2016, Finished 6th last year
- John Huh – 5 Straight cuts made, Performs well at Innisbrook: 9th, 22nd, 33rd Last Three here, 9th in the Field in Stat Ranks
- Makes the cut, doesn’t strongly contend to win; Finishes between 15th and 30th. As usual, the key is keeping the ball in play off the tee. Tiger gets a Top-20 and I’m ALL IN on him next week at Bay Hill.
Here’s the Spreadsheet so you can see WHY I chose those guys, and others that are in play for me this week on DraftKings or Betting
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