Dan Geraghty delves into the first round 3-balls at the newly-named Valspar Championship and comes up with four wagers for you to consider...
The headline three-ball this week is an interesting problem to unravel. We have one of the shortest hitters on tour in Luke Donald paired with one of the absolute longest in Gary Woodland and both have won on this course in recent years. Donald has looked like he's playing himself into form in recent weeks while Woodland is in the middle of a very consistent run of form himself. However, I'm not going to try and figure out which of them is best suited to this week's test, I'm going to back the third member of the three-ball, outsider Kevin Streelman.
Streelman is defending champion this week himself and has made every cut this season. A run of form he puts down to having gained perspective on the game of golf after his daughter was born prematurely. It's a high quality three-ball and I may well back all three for the tournament and kick back in front of their group on Shot Tracker with a cup of tea. Though given the sometimes unreliable nature of Shot Tracker, the tea might turn into something stronger by the end of the night!
I'm willing to forgive angry Spencer Levin his recent missed cuts; he's shot an under par first round on each of his previous visits to Copperhead and looks overpriced to beat Graham DeLaet and Paul Casey on day one. Both have mixed form here.
Like Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen has been troubled by a back injury in recent times (it forced the South African to withdraw from the Honda Classic). Oosthuizen also missed the cut here last year and looks opposable in a competitive looking three-ball with Kevin Na and Charles Howell III. Preference is for Howell III, who came very close to winning here in 2009.
Chesson Hadley's reward for a fine maiden PGA Tour victory last week is a tee time with two of the hottest prospects on tour, Harris English and Jordan Spieth. No pressure Chesson. English and Spieth also have the advantage of having tied for seventh here last year and should make their experience count this week. I fancy Spieth to improve on last year's debut here and come out on top of the trio.
Back Kevin Streelman @ 3.55/2
Back Spencer Levin @ 4.1
Back Charles Howell III @ 2.77/4
Back Jordan Spieth @ 2.56/4
Season P&L: -11.58pts (based on 1pt per selection)
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