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Valspar Championship Predictions: Back Bezuidenhout for First Win

Written by: Dave Tindall
Updated March 20, 2024
8 min read
  • This is the last event on the four-week Florida Swing 

  • Xander Schauffele is the betting favorite at +800

  • The Masters is now just three weeks away  

Valspar Championship Odds

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PlayerOdds 
Xander Schauffele+800
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Sam Burns+1100
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Jordan Spieth+1400
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Justin Thomas+1400
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Brian Harman+2000
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Cameron Young+2200
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Sungjae Im+2200
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Tony Finau+2200
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Min Woo Lee+3000
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Nick Taylor+3500
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Valspar Championship Picks and Predictions

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Valspar Championship 2024 Predictions

Valspar Championship Intro

It’s easy to think of the Valspar Championship - the least established of the Florida Swing events - being viewed as an afterthought following two huge weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.

But despite its difficult place on the schedule, some big names have decided another week of golf in the Sunshine State could serve them well with The Masters rapidly appearing on the horizon.

The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort has provided a testing challenge down the years and winner Taylor Moore was the only player to finish double digits under par 12 months ago.

The Valspar has its quirks. The 7,340-yard par 71 has an atypical scorecard of four Par 5s and five Par 3s while before Moore’s victory the previous four editions were won by just two players.

Paul Casey made a successful defense in 2019 after edging out Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed by a shot a year earlier.

And after the 2020 event was canceled, Sam Burns also went back-to-back, winning by three in 2021 and edging out Davis Riley in a playoff in 2022.

Internationals have a good record in the event but home United States players have won the last three.     

Last 5 Winners of the Valspar Championship

YearChampion, nationality and winning score
2023Taylor Moore (United States) -10 
2022Sam Burns (United States) -17
2021Sam Burns (United States) -17
2019Paul Casey (England) -8
2018Paul Casey (England) -10

Note: There was no tournament in 2020 due to the pandemic

Course Notes

  • The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is a par 71 and measures 7,340 yards

  • Unusually, it has four par 5s and five par 3s

  • The parkland track is more undulating than most Florida courses

  • The 18-hole record of 61 is held by Padraig Harrington and Matthew NeSmith 

  • Vijay Singh holds the 72-hole record, 266 in 2004  

Favorites to Win Valspar Championship

Xander Schauffele (+800) at BetMGM

Schauffele is straight back into action after his near-miss at The Players Championship and perhaps that’s a good thing instead of dwelling on how he was pipped on Sunday by Scottie Scheffler. The World No. 5 is clearly in great shape with his Sawgrass second place representing a fifth top 10 of the season. Schauffele was tied for 12th here in 2022 on his only Valspar start.

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Sam Burns (+1100) at BetMGM

Burns is the standout course horseplay this week after his back-to-back wins in 2021 and 2022 followed by sixth last year. He also posted a tied 12th on debut in 2018. After connecting a quartet of top 10s on the West Coast, he’s had to settle for 30th and 45th on the Florida Swing although those two finishes were compromised by a closing 78 at the Arnold Palmer and a Sunday 76 at Sawgrass where he’d fired a 65 in round three.

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Jordan Spieth (+1400) at BetMGM

Spieth is another former Valspar winner and his strong course form goes well beyond a victory in the 2015 edition. The three-time Major champion has landed in the top 20 in five of his six visits to the Copperhead Course, including third last year. Spieth had a third (The Sentry) and sixth (Phoenix) on the West Coast but went 30-MC on the Florida Swing over the last fortnight.

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Back Bezuidenhout

This looks a good week to take on the top names, who may be caught between winding down from last week and starting to focus on The Masters.

And the one to cash in at an eye-catching price of +5000 is Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

South Africans have a good record in this event which was only established at the start of the century.

Retief Goosen is a two-time winner, Charl Schwartzel hoisted the silverware in 2016 and Louis Oosthuizen was runner-up in 2019.

Bezuidenhout made the cut on his only appearance here two years ago and he returns with his game in good shape.

The 29-year-old was runner-up at The American Express in January and shot 70 or better in all four rounds when tied for 13th in last week’s Players Championship.

Adding to that is a run of 20-28-24 in February starting at Pebble Beach, Phoenix, and Riviera. 

Bezuidenhout ranks 8th for Strokes Gained: Approach this season and 27th for SG: Putting.

Looking at past results at this venue, that looks like a perfect combination.  

Thomas to Beat Schauffele

For this week’s match bet, I’m taking Justin Thomas to beat Xander Schauffele at +130 with bet365.

On first glance, it’s obvious why JT is the clear dog. He missed the cut at Sawgrass last week while Schauffele was runner-up.

But maybe it’s not that simple. Schauffele was under the gun for a long time and it would be no surprise to see him take his foot off the gas a little here.

Thomas didn’t do much wrong at The Players but he’ll be determined to right the wrong of that MC with a big finish this week.

It looks like an ideal place for him to rebound as reading back from 2023 his finishes here are: 10-3-13-MC-18-10.

Despite the odd blip, Thomas has four top 12s in his six PGA Tour starts this season, so much of his play has been of a high level.

If Schauffele drops off a little, JT’s course consistency can win the battle over 72 holes.    

Ghim to Land Top 10

Doug Ghim is playing the best golf of his PGA Tour career and is worth a play at +400 with bet365 to finish in the top 10.

The 2017 U.S. Amateur runner-up hasn’t quite made the impact many expected since turning pro but that could be changing.

From the Farmers Insurance Open to the Phoenix Open, Ghim has reeled off five straight top 20s, the best of those tied for eighth in the Mexico Open. 

After only missing out on the top 10 at Sawgrass by two shots, he can make it in here against much weaker opposition.  

How to Watch the Valspar Championship

  • Tournament: Valspar Championship

  • Location: Palm Harbor, FL

  • Date: Thursday, March 21 - Sunday, March 24

  • How to watch: Thursday-Friday 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC) And all four days on Sky Sports.

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AUTHOR

Dave Tindall

109 Articles

Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.



Email: [email protected]

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