Whilst Doral may have been dominated by big-hitters last week, previous winners at this week’s Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida have a different look to them. Jordan Spieth claimed the title last year, whilst the presence of Luke Donald, Jim Furyk and Kevin Streelman on the role of honour suggests that accuracy and the ability to scramble are attributes that can win you the title this week.
Spieth is understandably the 11/2 favourite but, as he seems slightly out of sorts at the moment, it may be that the added pressure of being the current Masters Champion and the US Open Champion is getting to him – and as defending champion he’s going to be in even more demand this week.
Henrik Stenson is the only other player quoted at less than 20/1 but, whilst he was 4th on his Innisbrook debut last year, he didn’t look to be in the form to notch a win at Doral last week.
If that’s the case, the door is well and truly open for a decent priced winner this week – and I’m happy to take six players against the field.
Harris English 1 point each-way @ 35/1 (Paddy Power) 1/5 odds 7 places
English hasn’t quite reached the heights many thought he would have by now, but this looks a great opportunity for him as he has both course and current form on his side. He’s finished 7/38/10 here the last three years, and has finished 3/39/10 on his last three starts.
KJ Choi 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
Choi had looked in decline in the last couple of seasons, but has found plenty of game so far in 2016 with two top-5’s in his last four events. He’s also got plenty of course form, winning by 7 strokes in 2002 and 4 strokes in 2006. He also finished runner-up here in 2010, and he could make a bold bid for a hat-trick here in his current form.
Sean O’Hair 1 point each-way @ 80/1 (Paddy Power) 1/5 odds 7 places
The 2008 winner looked likely to become the third player to win two Innisbrook titles last year until pipped by Jordan Spieth, and he looks to be trending towards another bold bid after finishing 35/14 on his last two starts.
Danny Lee 1 point each-way @ 75/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 5 places
Danny Lee blew a golden opportunity four starts ago when he ended-up fourth at the Waste Management Open having gone into the final round ahead and, though he’s been average since, he may well click back into top gear at a course that offers him a decent chance of hitting the leaderboard having finished 7th here last year.
John Senden 0.5 points each-way @ 125/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 5 places
The Aussie has been on the cold-list for a while, but showed his first real form for some time when 10th on his last start and, with a win and two runner-up finishes here, he could well post a challenge at decent odds.
Troy Merrit 0.5 points each-way @ 175/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 5 places
Merrit can blow hot and cold like most golfers, but he was sixth here last year before going on to win later in the season. His 11th last time out was also a good effort in a quality field – and he’s another who could go well at a big price.