Dustin Johnson has been out of sorts since winning the Saudi International in the first week of February, struggling with his driving and putting, but the world number one got a small boost in confidence in the RBC Heritage the week before last and will be hoping to build on that in the Valspar Championship.
Johnson Seeking Further Putting Improvement
Johnson put a new putter in his bag for the final round of the Heritage and it worked well, moving the Carolinian giant up to 13th place. If the world number one has solved his problems on the greens, then the
10/1 about him winning the Valspar becomes an interesting price. Johnson finished sixth the last time he competed at the Copperhead Course – the Valspar venue – and it is a layout which seriously punishes any errant hitting.
Justin Thomas, who imploded in round three of the Masters last time out, is just ahead of Johnson in the Valspar betting. Thomas is an unappealing option at
15/2 given the dent to confidence he suffered at Augusta.
Casey Gunning for Stunning Valspar Hat-trick
Two American superstars dominate the Valspar betting, but Paul Casey is teeing up looking for three consecutive Valspar Championship victories. It is extremely rare for a player to stamp his authority on a PGA Tour event to such an extent, but Casey adores the Copperhead Course and will fancy his chances of completing the hat-trick.
The coronavirus pandemic meant there was no Valspar last year. Casey repelled Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods to win the 2018 edition by a shot, and the margin of success was the same when he saw off Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen to triumph in 2019.
Given Casey has already lifted silverware this year – starring in the Dubai Desert Classic at the end of January – the Englishman seems sure to have plenty of supporters at
16/1 for more Valspar joy. Casey was solid on the Florida Swing this year, finishing tenth at Bay Hill and fifth at Sawgrass, and the Sunshine State has become a happy hunting ground for him.
Conners may Upstage American Superstars
If Johnson and Thomas flop – and Casey finds the hat-trick bid too much – then Corey Conners seems an ideal candidate to take advantage. The Canadian has developed into one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour and a second victory appears to be close.
The 29-year-old has played in one previous Valspar Championship – finishing 16th in 2018 – and he led the tournament going into the final round. Given he was world number 596 at the time and a Tour maiden, it was little wonder the Sunday pressure proved too much, but he has returned this week carrying much more self-belief.
The 2019 Texas Open champion, who lives in Florida, finished third at Bay Hill in March and seventh at Sawgrass. He was eighth in the Masters, fourth in the RBC Heritage last time out, and seems a solid each-way investment at
*All odds correct at time of writing.