There is no rest for the weary following the PGA Tour’s flagship event. Competitors will travel from Florida’s east coast to the Tampa area for the 2023 Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort. Known as one of the most treacherous golf courses on the PGA Tour schedule, the Copperhead Course will once again attempt to tame some of the best players in the world.
Two-time defending Valspar champion Sam Burns looks to make it a three-peat in his fifth career tournament appearance. Burns has struggled to begin 2023 with missed cuts in the last two designated events, but he may have found something in his game at the Players Championship.
Burns is joined by his Presidents Cup teammates from this past fall, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Similar to Burns, there have been moments of quality for both of these players — namely Spieth with his final-round charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and his steady play at the WM Phoenix Open.
Thomas arrives with five top-25 finishes in his last six tournaments but without an outing that has seen him in contention late into Sunday. The two-time major champion was part of the mix a season ago and hopes a return to the Copperhead Course can bring a similar result. Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley and Tommy Fleetwood round out the notables looking to find some form as the 2023 Masters quickly approaches.
Event: 2023 Valspar Championship | Dates: Mar. 16-19
Location: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course) — Palm Harbor, Florida
Par: 71 | Yardage: 7,340 | Purse: $8,100,000
2023 Valspar Championship field, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
- Justin Thomas (11-1): Does Thomas have too many tools at his disposal? That was the question I posed on the First Cut Podcast following the Players Championship with the 29-year-old becoming an afterthought in the early stages of 2023. Often hitting the shot he can and not necessarily the shot required has caused Thomas to struggle to keep up with the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm. This discipline will be tested at the Copperhead Course, where he has four top-20 finishes in five trips, including a T3 last year.
- Jordan Spieth (12-1): Every now and then, the PGA Tour visits a course and you wonder how Spieth won there. It was Harbour Town in 2022 and the Copperhead Course in 2015. With four top-20 finishes under his belt, including that victory, Spieth returns to the Tampa area for the first time since 2018. It is a peculiar addition to his schedule with a pair of Texas events on the horizon before the big one at Augusta National. Thomas is slated to skip the WGC Match Play, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Spieth does so, too.
- Sam Burns (16-1)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (16-1): There are reports that Fitzpatrick’s neck is slowly healing. First announcing his injury at Pebble Beach, the Englishman has since gone onto miss three of five cuts to begin his year. The Copperhead Course should be an ideal fit for his game as shown by his top-five finish a season ago. Yet with the injury and the lack of consistency in the irons (he ranks 124th in this field in strokes-gained approach in his last 24 rounds), it wouldn’t be surprising if it is another short week for the U.S. Open champion.
- Justin Rose (22-1)
- Keegan Bradley (25-1)
- Tommy Fleetwood (25-1): Fleetwood continued to golf his ball at TPC Sawgrass, but with it, came another disappointing finish. A final-round 76 saw the Englishman go from the first page of the leaderboard to a tie for 27th. It has shades of déjà vu from 2022 when he experienced something similar at the Players Championship only to finish T16 the following week in his Valspar Championship debut.
- Adam Hadwin (28-1)
- Denny McCarthy (30-1): The win is coming soon. A pair of top-15 finishes in the last two designated events sandwich a missed cut at the Honda Classic (where he played despite feeling unwell). McCarthy’s presence on the greens is always a talking point, but improvements in the ball-striking categories are what will push him into the winner’s circle. He gained more than four strokes off the tee at TPC Sawgrass — the third-best mark of his career.
- Brian Harman (35-1)
- Davis Riley (35-1)
- Justin Suh (35-1)
- Wyndham Clark (35-1)
2023 Valspar Championship expert picks
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