Dustin Johnson returned to title form last week but there is barely a breath before the tour rolls on. This week the tour is at Innisbrook Resort, more specifically the Copperhead, for the 2015 Valspar Championship. John Senden broke a seven-season winless drought last year en route to the title. A field that boasts four of the world’s top-10 and 11 of the top-30 will be here to challenge for the 2015 title.
The venue is not forgiving and can bite a player if he loses focus for one shot. The teeth of the Copperhead will challenge the field the entire week. Players can navigate the first 15 holes of each round and enter the “Snake Pit,” the affectionate name of the 16th thru 18th holes, and see their rounds go up in smoke.
The “Snake Pit” was ranked fifth amongst finishing three hole stretches in 2015 and there is no reason to think otherwise this year. The 16th will play to 460 yards and this par-4 with its water down the right side, will intimidate players without remorse. The 215 yard, par-3 17th is the stopgap to the 445 yard uphill finishing par-4. The hidden green of the 18th will see many in the field either come up short or fly the putting surface. A two shot swing is not uncommon at the finisher.
The “Snake Pit” is a place that many players’ dreams have come to die. But one player will leave the “Snake Pit” damaged but not broken and will raise the 2015 Valspar Championship trophy.
Dates: March 12 -15 2015
Course: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)
Stats: Par 71, 7,340 yards
Television Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST, NBC 3:00 -6:00 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST, NBC 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Purse: $5.9 million total purse, $1.062 million winner share
Valspar Championship Top Picks
A full field will be at Copperhead this week for the event. Attempting to pick a winner out of a full field event is a lot like a needle in a haystack. This year one of my top-3 has won more than one event. Let’s see if I can keep the 2015 PGA Tour predictions rolling again this week. It’s time to get to the predictions and picks for the 2015 Valspar Championship
|Luke Donald||The former World No. 1 has been struggling to regain the form that took him to the top of his craft. In fact, he has only made 4-of-7 cuts in 2015 but two back he played his best golf finished tied for 7th at the Honda Classic. His career here is impressive with four consecutive finishes in the top-6 including a tie for fourth last year and a title in 2012. He is a horse for the course.|
|Adam Scott||While Adam Scott does not have a lot of experience here at the Valspar Championship, has not played since the Transitions in 2010, he is one of the worlds best. He is lining up his schedule for the Masters and plays a ball flight that should not be hurt at the Copperhead. In his two US starts, both WGC events, he finished tie for 12th at the HSBC Champions and tied for 4th last week at the Cadillac Championship.|
|Jordan Spieth||The youngster continues to play unflustered and unrelenting golf. His last three starts include a tie for 17th last week at the Cadillac Championship, a tie for 4th at the Northern Trust and a tie for 7th at Pebble Beach. In two previous starts at Innisbrook, Spieth finished tie for 20th last year and tied for 7th in 2013. He is prepping for another run at the Masters and expect a minor tweak and a ready to fire player this week.|