PGA picks: Could DeLaet grab 1st victory at the Valspar?

The PGA Tour returns to Florida after an incredible week in Mexico, as the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort hosts the Valspar Championship.

The Palm Harbor track is one of the toughest on tour, with Charl Schwartzel capturing last year’s title at only 7-under par – a far cry from the 14-under score that won last week at the WGC.

Here are the players that should fare well this week:

Favorite to watch (odds less than 25/1)

Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson was one of the top picks in last week’s event, but the Swede didn’t even last 18 holes in Mexico, withdrawing due to a stomach flu in the opening round. The world’s sixth-ranked golfer is the top player in the field this week, and a T-11 finish last year should give him confidence at Copperhead.

Odds to win: 11/1
Top-5 odds: 5/2

2nd Tier (odds greater than 25/1)

Bill Haas

Bill Haas is no stranger to success around Copperhead, as he tied for the 72-hole lead last year before losing in a playoff. Haas leads the tour in scrambling, which will prove very beneficial on the difficult layout that always yields a number of missed greens in regulation. The 34-year-old has been a model of consistency this season, posting a top-20 finish in six of seven events. At 28/1, that consistency is worth a bet.

Odds to win: 28/1
Top-5 odds: 11/2

Long shot (odds greater than 40/1)

Graham DeLaet

Graham DeLaet is regularly mentioned on lists of top players without a PGA Tour win, but this could be the week the sweet-swinging Canadian claims victory. DeLaet comes into the week in fine form, posting ninth, 17th, and 10th place finishes in his last three starts, and has two top 10s in his last two starts at Copperhead.

Odds to win: 40/1
Top-5 odds: 7/1

Super long shot (odds greater than 60/1)

Steve Stricker

Steve Stricker may be a part-time player on the Tour these days, but he’s a full-time moneymaker whenever he tees it up. Despite his limited schedule, Stricker has made the cut in 12 of his last 13 events, including a seventh-place showing in last year’s Valspar Championship. He doesn’t have the reps to compete in tournaments where 20-under is needed for a victory, but on a tough track like Copperhead, expect him to be in the mix.

Odds to win: 70/1
Top-5 odds: 16/1

Hit this bet, buy a car (odds greater than 100/1)

Scott Brown

Scott Brown has reeled off eight straight made cuts on the PGA Tour, highlighted by a second-place finish at Riviera a couple weeks ago. The 33-year-old was a consistent performer in last year’s Valspar Championship, firing rounds of 70, 69, 72, and 71 for a T-7 finish, so the difficult Florida layout shouldn’t intimidate him. At 100/1, he’s definitely worth a couple dollars this week.

Odds to win: 100/1
Top-5 odds: 20/1

Last week’s picks

Henrik Stenson: WD
Jon Rahm: T-3
Thomas Pieters: T-5
Daniel Berger: T-16
Jhonattan Vegas: T-38

Season record (through 9 events)

Wins: 3
Top 5: 9

(Odds courtesy: Paddy Power)

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