Valspar Championship Tees Off This Week: Sam Burns Set to Defend Title
The 2023 Valspar Championship tees off this week at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. This is the lone home of the event since its inception in 2000, and Sam Burns is looking to become the first player to win it in three consecutive years since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.
The field of 142 golfers will be headlined by two-time defending champion Burns, along with Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, and Tommy Fleetwood. The purse for the event is $8.1 million, with the winner taking home $1,458,000, according to the PGA Tour’s prize money distribution chart.
Justin Suh is one of the players to watch this week, having made 11 cuts in a row and finishing 6th or better in two of his last three starts. He is showing great form and will be looking to make his mark on his Valspar Championship debut. He has ranked 24th or better in SG Approach in four of his last five starts and was 2nd in Tee to Green at the Honda and 15th at the Players in the same department.
According to McClure's model, Jon Rahm is expected to be at the top of the rankings at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions, The American Express and the Genesis Invitational. J.T. Poston was also among the model's top picks to take home the 2022 John Deere Classic title. McClure's bets returned an outstanding total of nearly $1,100 when his biggest hit was at +5500 during the tournament. Prior to the weekend of the 2022 Masters, McClure's model predicted a first career major championship victory for Scottie Scheffler.
At last year's Valspar Championship, Sam Burns defeated Davis Riley on the second playoff hole. Burns closed with a 2-under 69 while Riley shot a 1-over 72. After Paul Casey won the event at Innisbrook in both 2018 and 2019, Burns was the next consecutive two-time champion. Both Justin Thomas and Matthew NeSmith had a share of the lead at some point during the final round but finished one shot back of joining the playoff.
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