VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW 2022

MARCH 15TH 2022 – ‘@NelsonsGolfTips.

The Players Championship is so hard to follow but the Valspar is equal to the task, the Players Championship was won by Cameron Smith and weren’t without its interruptions with the weather,.the on-course staff did a tremendous job of getting it playable.

We are weeks away from the master so were expecting a solid field at the Copperhead Course to get their game fine-tuned, last year we had four of the top ten and I can see more big guns coming here, more notable players were here last year including Corey Conners, Abraham Ancer, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed and Joaquin Niemann.

Course copperhead course

The Copperhead Course is played at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, just north of Tampa Florida, it was opened in 1970 it has four golf courses on the property with Copperhead being the most famous, it was designed by someone called Larry Packard.

The course measures 7340 yards par 71, many if not all the holes have some resemblance of dog legs which will play into the hands of someone who can work the ball both ways, there are four par 5s and five par 3s with

The signature holes on the course come right at the end of the round with them being the 16th through to the 18th and need no introduction, it’s called The Snake Pit.

16TH HOLE – 475 Yards

The 16th hole is a par four 475 Yards, it has a wall of trees on the left-hand side coupled with a large pond on the right-hand side waiting for those wayward drives. And the further you drive the ball the narrower the fairway gets, It is possibly seen as a non-driving hole but sacrificing distance can leave a very long shot into a small green.

17TH HOLE- 215 Yards

This long par three seems to look easy but don’t let it fool you its green is larger than usual but is guarded on all fronts with the bunkers, so walking away with a par will more than suffice.

18TH HOLE -445 Yards

This is why they call it the Snake Pit, it’s an intimidating closing hole with trees and bunkers on both sides of the fairway and if you fall into the left-hand trap then hitting the green in regulation is very hard, while a shot into the bunkers on the right gives you a good look into the green, they are all very narrow so hitting the front side bunkers is a good bailout but hitting the back ones is a big no-no due to the fact the green significantly slopes from back to the front and making it impossible to get up and down.

Overall this course is a stern test of the mind and is very narrow with tree-lined fairways which need the ball moving a lot, the winning score last year was -17 but normally between 7-10 under, the copperhead course is a great test of a golfer.

PAST WINNERS

2021 SAM BURNS -17 STATS SGOTT – 16TH, SGTTG- 5TH SGAPR- 14TH, SGGIR- T35, SGSCR- T30, SGPUTT- 3RD

2020 CANCELLED

2019 PAUL CASEY -8 STATS SGOTT- 6TH SGTTG- 1ST, SGAPR- 7TH, SGGIR- T5, SGSCR- 47TH, SGPUTT- 43RD.

2018 PAUL CASEY -10 STATS SGOTT- 50TH, SGTTG- 6TH, SGAPR- 7TH, SGGIR- T30, SGSCR- 3RD, SGPUTT- T5.

2017 ADAM HADWIN -14 STATS SGOTT- 47TH, SGTTG- 5TH, SGAPR- 2ND, SGGIR- T5, SGSCR- 7TH, SGPUTT- 4TH.

2016 CHARL SCHWARTZEL -7 STATS SGOTT- 52ND, SGTTG- 4TH, SGAPR- 3RD, SGGIR- T10, SGSCR- T45, SGPUTT- 12TH.

2015 JORDAN SPIETH -10 STATS SGOTT- 28TH, SGTTG- 1ST, SGAPR- 12TH, SGGIR- T32, SGSCR- 18TH, SGPUTT- 26TH.

2014 JOHN SENDEN -7 STATS SGOTT 57TH, SGTTG- 3RD, SGAPR- 5TH, SGGIR- T3, SGSCR- T35, SGPUTT- 15TH.

2013 KEVIN STREELMAN -10 STATS SGOTT- 21ST, SGTTG- 5TH, SGAPR- 7TH, SGGIR- T11, SGSCR- 1ST, SGPUTT- 3RD.

2012 LUKE DONALD -13 STATS SGOTT 25TH, SGTTG- T41, SGAPR- 62ND, SGGIR- T43, SGSCR- T28, SGPUTT- 1ST.

2011 GARY WOODLAND – 15 STATS SGOTT 10TH, SGTTG- 7TH, SGAPR- 39TH, SGGIR-T29, SGSCR- 6TH, SGPUTT-3RD.

Looking back at the winner stats the strokes gaines tee to green are up there in the high numbers along side strokes gained approach, so have a good look out for some good recent form with those strong numbers.

PICKS

VICTOR HOVLAND 11/1- 3PTS WIN W,HILL

Victor has been in stupendous form his recent outings have yielded some good scores without getting over the line, he finished T9 at the players -T12 at the API and T4 at the Genesis, his driving and iron play has made him into a solid player with him up to number three in the world ranking, he was 1st in SGTTG and 3rd in SGAPR at the Players, he was 3rd here last year in his only start, expect more wins this season with this one going in the bag.

COLIN MORIKAWA 11/1 – 3PTS WIN W,HILL

Colin missed the cut at the Players and to be honest he and many more of his professional colleagues were on the wrong side of the draw and had to play in horrendous conditions, that’s not the Morikawa we know he has been in such good form with him being rated the best iron player in the world, his recent stats are Players mc – Genesis T2- Dubai T18, he’s still showing good numbers on course with him 9th SGTTG and 12th SGAPR YTD, he has no course form here but can easily contest this tournament.

KOKRAK 33/1 – 2PTS EW 8 PLACES W, HILL

Jason has had a slow start to the season he’s had two top 30s and T53 at the players but as you are well aware that’s not the kokrak we know after two wins in 2021 and one in 2020, he’s better than the bare form suggests, Jason has some good course form here with him T2-T8 and T13 so expect him to be fighting on Sunday for his first win of the year.

KEEGAN BRADLEY 50/1- 1PT EW 8 PLACES W,HILL

Keegan had an excellent Players championship and if had he not gone in the water at the 18th who knows what would have happened, he’s made a solid start to the year with a T11th at the Arnold Palmer which wasn’t an easy ride, he was 2nd TTG and 10th SGAPR at the Players and YTD 11th SGTTG and 26th SGAPR which for me are the most important stats for this tournament, he also has a 2nd here and T31 so I’m hoping for a good showing from Bradley.

HAROLD VARNER lll

Harold has already been in the winners circle this year unfortunately it’s not the PGA win he was after but with his recent good form I can see him making it number two like the trend is showing this year, The win in Saudi was a very strong contest with the likes of DJ – Lowry-Niemann- smith – Ancer and Fleetwood in tow, his numbers at the Players were nothing to be sniffed at with him 7th in both SGTTG and SGAPR, he has had a couple of missed cuts before the Players so probably a leap of faith needed.

AARON WISE 66/1 – 0.5PTS EW 8 PLACES W, HILL

This one is a bit left-field but after recent showings, I cant see why he can’t give it a good go, he’s finished T17th at the Arnold Palmer – T5th CJ Cup- T67 at the Genesis and T50 at the Players his numbers can give him a good chance with him being in form his SGTTG is 16th and 6th SGAPR, his last win came back in 2018 at the Byron Nelson. this could be a little gem at 66/1.

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