Welcome to the Paul Casey Championship. Oops, sorry, it’s actually the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.
We got a little carried away because Casey has won the last two Valspar titles. He won in 2018 and followed that up by repeating in 2019. The 2020 event was canceled because of the pandemic, but the pros are back at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, FL.
And that includes Casey. He won in two completely different ways as he rallied past Patrick Reed and some guy named Tiger Woods in 2018 and held on for a win over Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen in 2019.
2021 Valspar Championship Odds From FanDuel
|FanDuel||Odds To Win|
It’s Simple: Casey Is The Obvious Choice
Without a tournament in 2020, we’re left looking back two years to search for a winner.
With that in mind, it’s easy to go with Casey. One, he’s won the last two times. Two, he’s played solid in the 2020-2021 wraparound season and is currently 19th in the world golf rankings.
Since the calendar hit 2021, he’s got four top 10s on his resume. Granted, he’s coming off a missed cut at the RBC Heritage Classic and he sat out the Zurich Classic team event. We’re thinking the extra rest may help him out.
So we like Casey at +2000 at FanDuel to make it a three-peat, just for the simple fact it’s been a decade since anyone’s gone back-to-back-to-back on the PGA Tour. Steve Stricker is the most recent Tour player to accomplish the feat, winning the John Deere Classic 2009-2011.
It’s about time to re-write the record book once again and Casey has all the momentum he needs to pull it off.
Valspar: It’s A Foreign Affair
There’s no doubt there is a foreign flair to this event. You’ve got to go back to 2015 to find a US winner as Jordan Speith picked up the title.
Since that time, it was Charl Schwartzel in 2016, Adam Hadwin in 2017, and then the back-to-back wins by Casey.
Is there a bright light that will click on showing a U.S. golfer will get back in the winner’s column?
Well, we’re glad you asked.
Watch Out For Jason Kokrak
Now, we know Jason Kokrak only has one PGA Tour victory to his credit but that’s okay. You can’t win twice on the Tour without winning your first one.
Kokrak, +3300, is in that frame of mind now that he has that first victory. He won the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek late in 2020 and hasn’t missed a beat since that time. He’s made 13 of 15 cuts in the2020-2021 wraparound season and that includes a run of three straight top 10s in late February and early March.
He was ninth at WGC Workday, eighth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and ninth The Players Championship. He’s getting used to seeing his name on top of the leaderboard and having those late tee times on Sunday.
All of that gives him great momentum this week. Add in the fact he’s been solid the last two tournaments here and he should be ready to go. He was T-8 here in 2018 and T-2 in 2019. He knows his way around the course.
And now he knows the feeling of hoisting that winner’s trophy.
And Then There’s Mr. Consistency
We’re also looking at Charley Hoffman to be hanging around the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Hoffman, at +4500, is a great sports betting value for the simple fact he’s one of the hottest players around. Granted, he hasn’t won but look at his recent events and he’s on the cusp of winning that fifth PGA Tour title.
In fact, he just missed out at the Valero Texas Open earlier this year where he finished second to Spieth. It was a win that would have gotten him back into the Masters so the hunger is definitely there. He wound up T-11 at last week’s team event with Nick Watney (after an opening round 8-under-par with a bogey on their card) so he’s coming into this week in fine form.
Since the start of 2021, he’s got three top 10s and is 34th in birdies per round at 4.25. If he cuts down on an errant shot or holes a couple more putts, it just might be his time to get back in the winner’s circle.