Valspar Championship First-Round Leader Tips: Picks from 50/1 to 125/1

American golfer Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore can go low on Thursday

The PGA Tour stays in Florida and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to top the leaderboard come the end of round one...

  • 125/1126.00 Ryan Moore has course and current FRL form

  • 50/151.00 Keegan Bradley is twice a FRL leader here

  • 50/151.00 Maverick McNealy likes a quick Florida start


  • Weather forecast for Thursday

    The Copperhead course is less exposed than the average Florida track and wind speeds are only around 5mph all day.

    It's a little cool early morning with temperatures in the mid-50s. They rise to a peak of 78 degrees in late afternoon so the p.m starters will find it more pleasant.


    Back Ryan Moore @ 125/1126.00

    Ryan Moore was always on the mercurial side and he's even more so these days.

    But although the idea of him adding to his five PGA Tour titles (latest in 2016) doesn't really take flight when trying to imagine him winning this week, he's very capable of making an early impression.

    Moore has opened with a 65 in two of his latest nine PGA Tour events and the second one came earlier this month at another Florida event, the Cognizant Classic. It put him third on the day one leaderboard.

    As for course history, Moore finished fifth, third and 18th in his first three visits here from 2015-2017.

    But his best first-round effort came two appearances ago in 2021 when a 66 left him second after 18 holes.

    That means in two of his latest five Florida starts he's ended the opening lap inside the top three.

    Teeing off at 2.13pm local, there's plenty to like for a player all the way out at 125s.

    Back Ryan Moore each-way @ 125/1126.00

    Bet here

    Back Keegan Bradley @ 50/151.00

    Results on this week's course, Copperhead, correlate well with those at Augusta National. Both have their quirks such as plenty of sidehill lies. There is some logic.

    So given that Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth have both led the Masters after day one multiple occasions (Rose four, Spieth three), how about a three-time 18-hole leader at the Valspar?

    For that we need someone who has twice topped the Thursday leaderboard here before and such a player exists: Keegan Bradley.

    Bradley was FRL in both 2016 and 2021 and, to enhance his credentials further, the American was sixth, fifth and sixth respectively after day one the three times he teed it up at the Valspar in between.

    It's hard to ignore that ridiculous R1 record and it's worth adding that he's also been a first-round leader at Florida's most famous event, the Players Championship.

    Bradley missed the cut at Sawgrass last week but he's got some good form this season - runner-up at the Sony Open and 11th at Pebble Beach - so back on a course where fast starts seem automatic, he's worth a play.

    He's another afternoon starter at 1.34pm.

    Back Keegan Bradley each-way @ 50/151.00

    Bet here

    Back Maverick McNealy @ 50/151.00

    Maverick McNealy looks to have a spring in his step after teaming up with Butch Harmon and seeing early rewards.

    The Californian was ninth at the Players Championship and that added to February form of sixth in Phoenix and 13th in Mexico.

    He made his debut at Copperhead last year and posted tied 36th but that included a first-round 67 which put him fourth after lap one.

    Add in a sixth place on the Thursday leaderboard at Sawgrass last week and he's been in the top six after the opening round in two of his last three Florida events.

    On current form he's worth backing at 50s for another fast start in the Sunshine State from his 2.07pm tee time.

    Back Maverick McNealy each-way @ 50/151.00

    Bet here

    Now read Dave's outright Valspar preview here!


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