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19 Mar 2019 by TSZ

The 2019 Valspar Championship Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is the 2019 Valspar Championship? Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th of March, 2019

Where is the 2019 Valspar Championship? Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Florida, USA

What is the total prize fund of the 2019 Valspar Championship? $6,700,000

What television channel can I watch the 2019 Valspar Championship on in the UK? Sky Sports Golf

Where can I stream the 2019 Valspar Championship in the UK? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the tournament online via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for the 2019 Valspar Championship? https://www.pgatour.com/tourna...

What is the yardage around the Copperhead Course? 7,340 yards (6,712 m)

What is the par around the Copperhead Course? 71

What is the predicted weather for the 2019 Valspar Championship? Some cloud expected during the opening day’s play but mostly sunny with consistent temperatures around 17c and low winds for the opening three rounds. Showers are forecast for the final day’s play that should come later in the day and could play a part in this year’s championship outcome.

THE HISTORY

The Florida swing comes to an end this week at the Valspar Championship around the Copperhead Course that is famous for one of the toughest finishing stretches on tour – holes 16 to 18 – that have been termed ‘The Snake Pit’.

Copperhead presents a great challenge to the players with its tight fairways and its demand for shot shaping whereby power and length will not be a determining factor, unlike so many of the courses on tour. Notably, the average winning total over the past ten editions is just 11 under par with the winning score being in single digits on three occasions. The challenging layout has made for exciting viewing over the years with the average winning margin at just 0.8 strokes, and a champion has only won by more than one stroke on one occasion in the past ten tournaments.

THE FAVOURITES

Patrick Reed

The American has not won on the PGA Tour since his maiden major title almost a year ago but has shown the kind of form in 2019 that so impressively triumphed around Augusta National. With five top 25s already to his name this year, his game is very close to winning again and with an average finishing position of 12th here since 2015 – including two runners-up finishes – this is the perfect course for him to record his seventh tour title.

Jim Furyk

The PGA Tour veteran and recent Ryder Cup captain is showing many of the younger guys that he still has the game to compete against the world’s best having recorded a runner-up finish at last week’s Players Championship. With three top 15 finishes in his past four starts this season, he returns to a course where he finished seventh last year. Furyk has not won on tour since 2015 but with him now in his twilight years on the main tour, he heads to a tournament in form and around a layout that compliments his game perfectly.

THE OUTSIDERS

Jason Kokrak

Kokrak is yet to win on the PGA Tour but with five top 25 finishes in 2019 and two top tens from his past three starts, which have resulted in an average finish for the year of 26th, he possesses the form to make a breakthrough. The American has recorded two top 10 finishes here in his last four starts and has the game to contend around this challenging layout. He ranks fourth in SG: approach-the-green, a key area that will be an advantage when he hits into these smaller greens.

Ryan Moore

A T20 at last week’s Players Championship resulted in Moore ending seven shots behind the leader but if it wasn’t for a second round 74, he would have been right up there in contention for his sixth PGA Tour title, suggesting his form is very close. With three top 20 finishes here in his last four starts, which includes back to back top fivess and has resulted in an average finish of 26th, this is a layout that fits his eye. Ranked 21st in SG: total suggests his all-round game is in position to contend once again.

Charl Schwartzel

Another former Masters champion heads to the Valspar Championship with some form behind him having recorded his best back-to-back finish on tour since April 2018. Schwartzel won around here in 2016 which was his second PGA Tour title and he followed that up with a sixth-place finish while defending, suggesting this is clearly a course that suits the South African’s game. A player of this calibre knows how to win, having recorded a further 11 international victories, but with none since 2016 – his joint longest winning drought – he will be looking to add to his tally during the time of year he often finds his form.

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