Valspar Championship: Three to follow at the Copperhead

Justin Rose – winner of the WGC HSBC Champions
Mike thinks Justin Rose could have a fast start on Thursday
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The Betting.Betfair editors return with a trio of selections fancied to go well at the Valspar Championship on Thursday...

"Rose, down the years, has been known to start tournaments well and has finished day one in the lead on plenty of occasions. And so too has his first round playing partner Rory McIlroy. So the hope is that these two 'click' and fire in plenty of birdies."

*EW Terms: 1/4 Odds | 6 Places

Adam Baylis says: Back Aaron Wise @ 100/1

I lingered over the top of the market this week for quite some time and fully expect the likes of Stenson and Spieth to have a strong start on Thursday, but given just how tricky this course can be and the fact that the first round leader will likely finish around -2 or -3, I thought it worth taking a chance on someone from left-field... Step forward, Aaron Wise.

The Oregon man has enjoyed a solid start to the season, recording a T17 at the CareerBuilder, a T15 at Pebble Beach and were it not for a difficult Thursday, could've troubled the top ten last week. The Copperhead requires a great deal of patience and a long approach is often necessary - an area where Wise excels - so if he can play his way round at a steady pace there's every chance he could be in contention come the weekend.

The wind is forecast to pick up throughout the day and our man is out late, but conditions don't look too feisty and it may well be an advantage to see how things play out in front of him before teeing off.

Mike Norman says: Back Justin Rose @ 35/1

I was very keen on Phil Mickelson's chances in Mexico last week, it had been a long time since I heard a golfer speak so bullish about his game. Lefty was extremely confident and told the world that his game was in the best shape it had been for a long time, and that he'd win soon. So it was a bit of a blow to see him put in his worst round of the week on day one, then go on to win the tournament without me having a penny on in the Winner market.

But that's life, first round leader is our game and the man I'm trusting for a fast start this week is Justin Rose. Admittedly part of this selection is price-based as he's available at an industry-best 35/1 on the Sportsbook, but we do have a few things in our favour. One is that Rose, down the years, has been known to start tournaments well and has finished day one in the lead on plenty of occasions. And so too has his first round playing partner Rory McIlroy. So the hope is that these two 'click' and fire in plenty of birdies.

I wouldn't put anyone off backing Rory either at 25/1, but given this is his course debut I just favour Rose who has plenty of good form at Copperhead, including four top-15 finishes in his last six starts. The Englishman finished in mid-pack last week, but given that was his first start for five weeks there was nothing wrong with that. Rose finished 2017 with an incredible 10 top-10 finishes on the spin, won three times, and started 2018 with a T22 in Abu Dhabi and a T8 at the Farmers. He'll be getting his game in peak order for the Masters - last year's runner-up is [29.0] on the Betfair Exchange to land his first Green Jacket - and I fancy he'll go well this week to kick-start that preparation.

Joe Dyer says: Back Jason Dufner @ 55/1

We round off our tips with a player who looks like very solid FRL material at a decent price.

Jason Dufner has played this tournament every year since 2009, making the cut every time and with a worst finish of 28th and a best of 10th. Dufner is on a similarly consistent stretch this season, playing the weekend every time he's teed it up with notably solid results in good corresponding tournaments - 18th in the Sony Open and 17th at the Honda Classic two weeks back.

My man is granted a nice, early tee-time when the wind will be relatively benign and can hopefully do some damage on a course that plays to his strengths.

2018 Season P/L to date: +£36

Staked: £240
Returned: £276

*£5 e/w per bet

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