Valspar Championship First Round Leader Picks, Bets & More (2024)

The Florida swing concludes with the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course. Here, however, we are directly focusing on our Valspar Championship first round leader picks. Take notes, kids.

Scottie Scheffler decided to take the week off, allowing for someone else to get a crack at victory. This event has proven to favor golfers just generally playing well while having consistent course history. Both bombers and short game specialists have won, and the field isn’t weighed down with top heavy names.

There’s going to be a heavy connection with when a golfer tees off and how familiar they are with the Copperhead course, especially for any First Round Leader (FRL). We want to focus on guys who are striking the ball with their irons and have knowledge of Bermuda greens. Putting will always be a central metric to build for a FRL, but this week also puts emphasis on ball striking and strokes gained off the tee.

We don’t necessarily need mashers, just accurate length. The Valspar is going to favor players who finished strong and made cuts in previous years, again we just need to pick someone to win day one – not hold on for the rest of the tournament.

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Valspar Championship First Round Leader Picks

The Keys To The Kingdom

Much like the majority of Florida, putting will dictate success. The TOUR shifts back to Bermuda greens so having a command on that surface will help. This is a truly demanding stretch of golf as length is more important on second shots than anywhere else. Getting distance off the tee is a bonus but there will be penalties for miss hits.

Approach shots are massive for anyone who struggles on Bermuda, but serve as solid means to distance from the rest of the field. The Valspar can see typical Florida wind, rain, and a rough three hole stretch to end the round. While the field may not have the typical top names, it only opens some value for golfers in the mid range – especially with some history here.

The last component that could serve as a difference maker is Par 3 scoring. These are some of the most difficult – at times insane – Par 3’s on TOUR. Getting off the tee and scoring on these holes won’t be easy. Having a handle of pin placement from prior rounds should be a solid aid in getting ahead of the field, especially in the first round.

The reality at Copperhead is if you know the course and can beat the longer Par 3’s, it won’t matter nearly as much when you tee off.

The Valspar Championship First-Round Leader Picks

The Valspar Championship First Round Leader Picks: Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000 BetMGM

Christiaan Bezuidenhout started the calendar year with a second place finish at the AMEX. He’s since made five of seven cuts, playing exceptionally well. Even in his two MC, there wasn’t a total disaster nor epic all around collapse. “Bez” comes in fresh of a T13 finish at The PLAYERS where he gained strokes in every major category except OTT.

Even that was marginal, losing just .16 strokes OTT. One of the biggest differences for Bez this year versus last year is his putting. There was a disappointing finish at last year’s event, struggling to end T62 overall. He was an unmitigated disaster on the green, losing .91 strokes putting. He’s been gaining on the green consistently over his past five to six events. This confidence in his flat stick is going to put him over the top through at least the opening round.

Bez has one of the earlier tee times, going off at 740aE. He’s playing exceptional golf overall and has the confidence to hang on against this field, even if just for one day. The issues surrounding Bez seem to creep in after early success, where he’s able to hold on for admirable finishes. This week he ends the day as our First Round Leader.

Best Valspar Championship First-Round Leader Bet: Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000 BetMGM

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The Valspar Championship First Round Leader Picks: Cam Young +4000 BetRivers

We simply cannot ignore how well of a fit the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is for newcomer Cam Young. Yes, we harped earlier on the importance of course history – mainly as it translates to successful course management – but Young has successfully navigated debuts on tougher courses.

There are few right now on TOUR who can match distance with accuracy like Young, gaining strokes against the field with both approach and tee shots. He’s as comfortable working around a sharp dogleg as he is blasting the ball off the tee. He has the capability of knocking down the longer par 3’s and his putting on similar greens should also translate.

With an earlier tee time, Young becomes a valuable play at 40-1 at BetRivers.

The Valspar Championship First Round Leader Bet: Cam Young +4000 BetRivers

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