Find Me a 100 Winner: Try this trio of outsider trades at the Valspar

Former FedEx Cup champion Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker is bang in form and showing no signs of ageing
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As the PGA Tour becomes ever more competitive, so the odds about many a proven winner become ever bigger. Paul Krishnamurty recommends two such characters amongst this trio of picks for the Valspar Championship...

"Bill Haas is a six-time PGA Tour winner who is liable to contend again sooner or later...One might expect the Florida Swing to provide a spark given an excellent record on Bermuda greens and in all of these events."

Back Bill Haas @ [140.0]

For this week's betting plan, we're going all in on the PGA Tour. The Valspar Championship always strikes me as one of the most wide-open contests on the schedule - ideal for trading purposes, without being a lottery by any means.

Plenty of outsiders have won but even the least likely had something about them. For example 2014 champion John Senden was a former runner-up. In 2011, Gary Woodland was widely regarded as a breakthrough winner in waiting.

That such different characters as Senden and Woodland have both won shows that this test doesn't really favour a particular type of player or skills-set. Accurate iron play is a must but no one statistic has proved all-important, so the best indicator may well be previous course form.

As Steve Rawlings explains in his comprehensive preview, the tournament's short history has already produced two dual winners and there are numerous course specialists that aren't all that obvious - Charles Howell, Kevin Streelman, for example.

Back Steve Stricker 2u @ [140.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [15.0]
Place order to lay 25u @ [4.0]

As is now customary on the PGA Tour, the strength of the market leaders means bumper win odds on the exchange about mid-ranking challengers. However given that leaderboards at Copperhead tend to be pretty bunched and prone to fluctuation, getting these types laid back at much shorter is perfectly realistic. Here we're backing a course specialist at double his best each-way odds on the High Street.

Stricker remains under-rated because of his age, despite showing no signs of deterioration. In 12 PGA Tour starts last term, he managed two top-seven finishes and top-20s at both the Masters and US Open. In 2016, he was runner-up in the St Jude and seventh here after trading short, in what was his fourth consecutive top-14 finish at Copperhead.

Steve notes an interesting correlation between this event and the John Deere Classic. Stricker has won the latter three times and recorded no fewer than eight top-11 finishers. He arrives fresh off a win and a second on the Champions Tour, following a pair of respectable mid-division finishes at this level.

Back Bill Haas 2u @ [140.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [15.0]
Place order to lay 25u @ [4.0]

Likewise, these odds about Haas are more than twice his each-way price. Granted, there isn't much in the recent formbook to warrant any shorter but this is a six-time PGA Tour winner who is liable to contend again sooner or later. He isn't playing terribly in any case, shooting rounds of 64 and 66 in his last event, and ranking top-seven for gir in his last two.

One might expect the Florida Swing to provide a spark. Haas has an excellent record on Bermuda greens and in all of these events. At Copperhead, he was runner-up in 2016 amongst three top-20 finishes from his last five.

Back C.T. Pan 2u @ [370.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [40.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [15.0]
Place order to lay 20u @ [4.0]

Next an extremely speculative pick, about a forgotten prospect fancied to spring a surprise somewhere this summer. It has been over a year since Pan last seriously contended, finishing runner-up at Torrey Pines, but he's been making cuts and hanging around the fringe. Over the last six months he ranks eighth amongst these for greens in regulation and made the top-20 last time out at the Honda.

Lest we forget, Pan's profile suggests big potential. In 2013, he was ranked the world's number one amateur for eight weeks and, upon turning pro, he swiftly became a mainstay in contention on the Tour. Players like this generally come through at some stage and he has less than two years PGA Tour experience to date.

Numerous alternatives came in for consideration. Russell Knox [160.0] is another quality player bound to bounce back sooner or later and the emphasis on gir should be ideal. I'm in total agreement regarding Dave Tindall's each-way pick Sam Saunders and this Florida boy is available at a whopping [200.0] on the exchange. At [150.0], Lucas Glover is another with excellent Sunshine State credentials.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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