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JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview and Picks for the Valspar Championship 2019


  • JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview and Picks for the Valspar Championship 2019


    “You have to be able to give a punch and take a punch, in golf and in life” - Brooks Koepka


    Last Tournament Brief Recap - API 2019

    My Picks
    Golfer Position DK Pts Value (Pt/$)*1000
    R.Cabrera-Bello T3 96.0 12.8
    B.An T10 77 10.3
    C.Howell III T15 76 8.8
    I.Poulter T23 62 7.8
    R.Fowler T40 74.5 7.2
    J.Day WD 3 0.3

    Cumulative Picks (18-19 Season) - Tournaments - 12, #Picks - 72, Winner - 2, Top 5 - 14 (19.44%), Top 10 - 21 (29.17%), Top 25 - 36 (50.00%), Made Cut - 57 (79.17%). The Course - Innisbrook Golf Club (Copperhead)

    Continuing our tour of Florida, this week we are just outside of Tampa, FL in Palm Harbor. Innisbrook (home of one of the most difficult final three holes on tour known as “The Snake Pit”) is a classic PGA Tour course and was originally designed by Larry Packard in 1970. It has been compared to other golf courses like Aronimink, Colonial and East Lake for its focus on being a test of pure golf and less aesthetics. Although the tournament has gone through several different sponsors and changes in the schedule since its inception in 2000, it has always been played at Copperhead. Copperhead is a par-71, 7340-yard course with 5 par 3s and 4 par 5s.

    Hole breakdown is as follows:
    Par 3 5
    Par 4 <400 1
    Par 4 400-450 5
    Par 4 450-500 3
    Par 4 >500 0
    Par 5 4
    Total 18

    Course Data (2018)

    Course Data by Par (2018)

    Course Stats
    • Par 71
    • 7,340 yards
    • Architects - Larry Packard (1972)
    • Greens - 6,100 sq. ft. (smaller greens), TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis (Stimpmeter 12.0, fast)
    • Tees, Fairways & Rough - Celebration overseeded with Ryegrass
    • Difficulty (+0.968 RTP, Ranked 6th of 51 courses played in 2018, +0.512 RTP, 9th of 50 in 2017, +1.618 RTP, 6th of 50 in 2016), difficult
    • 74 sand bunkers
    • 8 water hazards

    Observed Stat Trends - 2018
    • Last year the course played +0.968 strokes RTP, difficult
    • The four par 5s were the easiest holes on the course combining for -0.872 strokes RTP and an average BoB% of 30.9%
    • The only par 4 that played under par (barely) was the shortest par 4, hole 12 at 388 yards. The three par 4s between 450-500 yards were the most difficult holes on the course combining for +0.698 strokes RTP
    • All of the par 3s played over par as well
    • Overall, 19.26% of all shots were BoW versus 15.48% BoB

    Brief Tournament Information
    • Standard event with about 144 golfers
    • Cut at 70 (plus ties). Since 2014, cut has ranged between +1 and +4 (avg. +3)
    • Winning scores since 2014 range -14 to -7 (avg. -9.6)
    • Winners since 2014 (in order: Senden, Spieth, Schwartzel, Hadwin, Casey)

    DK Data 2018
    • Avg Cash Line (GPP - 331.36, Cash - 362.21)
    • Optimal LU - 629.5 DK Pts (AVR 11.03)
    • Winning LUs
      • Qtr Jukebox - 496.50 DK Pts (AVR 9.95)
      • 40k Albatross ($12 Buy-in, SE) - 473.0 DK Pts (AVR 9.48)
      • 500k Dogleg ($33 Buy-in, ME) (100k to the 1st) - 496.5 DK Pts (AVR 9.95)
    • Cash Line
      • $5 Double Up (SE) Cash line - 298.5 DK Pts

    Key Holes
    • Off the tee, golfers will see rolling tree-lined fairways with elevation changes. There are nine water hazards, including the abundant local wildlife, that comes into play on several holes and 71 bunkers scattered among the course near landing areas lining the fairways and protecting the greens. TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis is seen from tee to green. The course is also well known for its several double dogleg holes emphasizing the importance of ball placement and shot making. Approach shots can be demanding while the greens are subtle, yet dangerous, as many of them are well protected by greenside bunkers and are sloped into collecting areas.

    The Snake Pit (Holes 16-18, combined +0.607 RTP in 2018)
    • A review of Copperhead would not be complete without a discussion about the Snake Pit. According to ShotLink, the Snake Pit has been the 3rd toughest 3 finishing holes on tour since 2003 that isn’t a major averaging +0.565 over par. Last year there were 291 bogeys or worse on this stretch and accounted for 21.3% of bogeys or worse for the entire tournament.
    • Hole 16 (“Moccasin” Par 4, 475 yards, +0.300 RTP, 27th toughest hole on tour RTP 2018)
      • Moccasin is probably the worse of the three final holes and has the most bite. Hole 16 is an intimidating dogleg right with water on the right of the fairway. Golfers will need precision and control to avoid the dense tree on the left and the water on the right. A par is a good score here.
    • Hole 17 (“Ratter” par 3, 215 yards, +0.135 RTP)

    • The easiest of the three holes, Rattler requires a well-controlled fade onto the center of a well-protected green. It is the largest of the greens on the course but slopes from back to front with a steep drop in the front of the hole. The green is surrounded by four bunkers if golfers don’t hit the green. Less than 10% of golfers make a birdie. Conversely, almost 20% of golfers make a bogey or worse. Beware.
    • Hole 18 (“Copperhead” Par 4, 445 yards, +0.172 RTP)

    • Copperhead is a mid length par 4 but plays uphill the entire way. If golfer are able to avoid the bunkers on the left of the landing areas, they will have to use their approach skills to avoid the massive bunkers that protect the front and left of the green and may be more tricky depending on pin placement. The green has a severe downward slope from front to back. Similar to the Rattler, there were less than 10% of shots that made birdie but twice as much made bogey (22.80%) last year.

    My Picks

    DK - Above 10k

    Sergio Garcia (DK $10100, FD $11300, Y $43, Odds 16/1) - As the case every week, all of the five golfers are great plays and have the potential to win, so I’ll take the discount with Sergio. In great form with three top 9s in his last six events worldwide (one was a DQ) and nothing worse than a T37. He has made five starts at the Valspar since 2010 and has made the cut every single time including a T4 last year. He is obviously a terrific ball striker and excels T2G.

    DK - 9k

    Jim Furyk (DK $9200, FD $10000, Y $27, Odds 33/1) - Crazy, right? Paying $9200 for Furyk. But he may be worth the spike in price. He has teed it up four times in the last five weeks and has nothing worse than a T37 including a runner-up last week. In nine starts at the Valspar, he has made the cut all nine times, has four top 7s and a win in 2010. He has been striking the ball well and most importantly, he doesn’t make big mistakes and big numbers which is important here. He should, at least, be in consideration for your cash lineups.

    DK - 8k

    Brandt Snedeker (DK $8400, FD $9800, Y $34, Odds 55/1) - Snedeker has been playing well as of late making six of his last seven cuts including a T5 last week. Course history has been good making six of seven cuts at the Valspar since 2008 with a best T4 in 2011. Bermuda is his preferred surface and is usually solid with his approach shots.

    Adam Hadwin (DK $8300, FD $9800, Y $33, Odds 66/1) - Hadwin missed the cut last week, but he had made his last six cuts prior to that including a runner-up at the Desert Classic eight weeks ago. Hadwin is also a former winner at the Valspar in 2017 and followed up that performance with a T12 last year. He is a solid ball striker and strong with his irons.

    DK - 7k and Under

    JT Poston (DK $7900, FD $8300, Y $20, Odds 80/1) - Flying under the radar lately has been JT Poston who has made eight straight cuts in the last ten weeks. He has only played Innisbrook once in 2017 but finished a respectable T14. He is not long off the tee (length is not necessary here) but has made cuts with his approach shots and consistent putting.

    Nick Watney (DK $7200, FD $8700, Y $25, Odds 125/1) - Watney is a course horse who has made nine of nine cuts at Innisbrook including 4 top 14s. His current form is a little volatile making only 4 of 6 cuts in the last nine weeks. He doesn’t pop on most stat categories this week, however, he still ranks well enough to be in the top third in my model on He should be a nice low owned play for GPPs.

    Next week is Match Play and there will be no article.

    Anyway, I hope that this helps you in your own process to select your golfers for this week. Please leave me any questions, comments, suggestions or any rants and touts you would like to discuss either here on, on twitter @algertorr, or on DK/FD/FDR jayalger. Good luck this week!

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