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BlogWho will win at Innisbrook on Sunday?

Valspar Championship

March 13 – 16, 2014

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course)

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,340

Purse: $5.7 Million

with $1,026,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Streelman

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Things you need to know for Sunday’s final round at Innisbrook:

This week it’s Robert Garrigus, guess that’s all part of the parody on the PGA Tour?

Gosh another Saturday night in which we have some guy that we have barley heard of in the lead. In 2014 it’s been a real adventure having the third round lead,just look at some of the guys like Brooks Koepka, Chris Kirk, Briny Baird, Robert Karlsson, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland, William McGirt and Chesson Hadley.  This time last year you probably only heard of one of them, Gary Woodland and that’s because he won twice on the PGA Tour.  Even guys like Jimmy Walker and Ryan Moore aren’t what you call house-hold names  This week’s third round leader Robert Garrigus has a victory, he won the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network but let’s face up to the fact that in ten starts this year he hasn’t been a factor in any of them, his best finish was a T12th in the 2014 opening Frys.Com.  Now that hasn’t stop other winners this year like Kevin Stadler and Scott Stallings but the odds are long on a player that hasn’t been consistent over the year  If I was to give you 25 choices on Wednesday evening, Garrigus would not be on your list of guys that would be leading after the third round.  Guess that’s the parody on the PGA Tour for 2014 in a season that has seen some really bizarre and strange winners like Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore, Chris Kirk, Patrick Reed, Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Russell Henley and Chesson Hadley.

Is Garrigus a complete surprise?

In a way yes.  He hasn’t been a factor in a tournament since the Wyndham Championship last August.  In looking at his play in tournaments that he either led, co-lead or was within five of the lead you can see it’s been very slim for Garrigus.  One thing in his favor was his runner-up finish at Innsbrook in 2012 showing that he can play well here, but frankly this charge by him this week has caught everyone off guard.

So how did Garrigus do it?

With his length.  Garrigus is one of the longest hitters on tour, this year he is ranked 6th in driving distance, has been in the top-ten of this stat every year since joining the tour in 2006 and even led the stat in 2010 and 2009.  This week he has torn apart the par 5s, playing them in ten under par.  Of his 13 birdies this week, ten of them are on par 5s which tells the who story of his week.

So who is close to Garrigus?

Kevin Na is one shot back, John Senden is two back and Justin Ross is three shots back.  Then T5th at 4 under, four shots back is Retief Goosen, Charley Hoffman and Scott Langley so Garrigus will have some heat behind him.

Can Garrigus hold on?

That is a loaded question.  The way the tour is going this year we have seen a lot of weird guys like Jimmy Walker, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Patrick Reed, Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Russell Henley and Chesson Hadley find a way of holding on to win.  Maybe the law of averages will be on Garrigus side, in the three previous times he led or co-led going into the final round he finished second so maybe this week will be his week, but I doubt it.

So if not Garrigus, who?

  • Kevin Na is a pretty good candidate.  First he’s had a good year with two top-fours and has been very consistent.  Na may have only made eight birdies with half of them on the par 5s, but he only made one bogey in 54 holes, on the tenth hole on Saturday.  He leads the driving accuracy stat which is important on this course but most of all he has the experience factor on his side making 254 PGA Tour starts.  I feel that in order for Na to win he needs to walk into victory at the end, kind of like the way he did in his 2011 Shriners Hospital victory when he birdied 15, 16 and 17 to catch and pass Nick Watney.  If Na takes the lead early on the front nine I don’t see him holding on, the same with Garrigus if he gets off to a good start I think he is too nervous of a guy to hold on.
  • John Senden is also another good candidate because of his play of late.  On Friday after playing 30 holes he was one over par and struggling just to make the cut.  He birdied the 4th and 6th holes (started on the back nine) and with a bogey free 64 on Saturday he has played his last 24 holes in nine under par.  Senden is T2nd in greens hit with 42 of 54 and I can see that continuing on Sunday.  Also remember he has a good track record on this course, finishing T2nd in 2007 & ’08.

So what about Justin Rose and Retief Goosen?

  • Rose has been rehabbing his right shoulder, having tendinitis.  This has been a problem for several months and he didn’t play in January.  He also withdrew from Honda two weeks ago so I am a bit suspicious.  He played well on Saturday only to ruin what should of been a perfect day with a bogey at 18.  This is a perfect course for him and he is a bit lucky when you consider he is T2nd in driving distance but only played the par 5s in three under.  That’s like giving strokes to the field, he is seven shots back of Garrigus on the par 5s.
  • As for Retief Goosen I like him.  With his 64 on Saturday he climbed 59 positions on the leaderboard, going from making the cut by two shots to now being just 4 off the lead.  Goosen has won this event twice and you know his game is up for the challenge with his last victory being his Valspar win in 2009.  Goosen stepped it up with the putter on Saturday only taking 25 putts making a total of 103 feet of putts.  For the week he is fourth in that category making 268 feet of putts.  When Goosen putts well he finds a way of winning.

Any other players to think about?

Yes past champion Luke Donald who got into contention with a 67 on Saturday. Donald had that great year in 2011 when he won the money title on both the PGA and European Tour, took over the number one world ranking and was on top of the world.  But he played poorly in 2013 which started him thinking that maybe he didn’t hit the ball long enough.  He switched coaches last summer and that meant a swing change with Chuck Cook helping him.  He showed signs of progress winning in Japan in November but he has been slow on the PGA Tour until his T8th at Honda.  So don’t be surprise to see Donald make a run on Sunday, in 2012 he was T7th and three shots back going into the final round and won so anything is possible

Below is a list of the top-37 players on the leader board going to even par which are 8 shots back of Garrigus:

Of the top-37 players on Saturday’s leaderboard, who’s playing the best? for the Tampa Bay Championship

Player WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters Humana Abu Dhabi
Jordan Spieth
(183 pts)
T34
(24)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T12
(25.33)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(171.33 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
T24
(26)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Russell Knox
(134.33 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP
Will MacKenzie
(115.33 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T52
(0)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP
Jason Dufner
(112.5 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
DNP DNP
Luke Donald
(108.83 pts)
T25
(37.5)
DNP T8
(50)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
DNP T37
(4.33)
George McNeill
(105.67 pts)
DNP T19
(31)
T12
(38)
DNP T6
(40)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jim Furyk
(98 pts)
T62
(0)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T23
(18)
T35
(10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(93.83 pts)
T13
(55.5)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Gary Woodland
(89.67 pts)
T16
(51)
DNP DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP T38
(4)
DNP
Matt Every
(76 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T6
(40)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP
Matteo Manassero
(74 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP T12
(38)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(6.33)
David Hearn
(72.67 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
T6
(60)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Carl Pettersson
(70.67 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
T46
(4)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Streelman
(64.5 pts)
T25
(37.5)
DNP DNP T33
(17)
T35
(10)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Rose
(60.33 pts)
T34
(24)
DNP DNP T17
(33)
T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Na
(57.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T4
(53.33)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP
K.J. Choi
(54.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP
James Driscoll
(53.33 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
T46
(4)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T35
(10)
DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Charley Hoffman
(52 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP
Justin Leonard
(34 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(31.33 pts)
DNP DNP T41
(9)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T19
(20.67)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jonathan Byrd
(31.33 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP
Robert Garrigus
(27.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(18)
T27
(15.33)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Langley
(25 pts)
DNP T19
(31)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of those top-37 players, who isn’t playing well coming into this week? for the Tampa Bay Championship

Player WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters Humana Abu Dhabi
Tommy Gainey
(-38.33 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Retief Goosen
(-16.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T65
(0)
T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Greg Chalmers
(-15 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
James Hahn
(-5.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T29
(14)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T38
(4)
DNP
John Merrick
(-4.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP T47
(1)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP
Chad Collins
(-2.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP 8
(16.67)
DNP
Josh Teater
(2.67 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(17)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP
Ted Potter, Jr.
(10 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
T41
(9)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ben Crane
(17.67 pts)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
DNP 69
(0)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP
John Senden
(18.67 pts)
DNP DNP T46
(4)
DNP T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP
Michael Thompson
(21 pts)
DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Freddie Jacobson
(23 pts)
DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP T76
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

  • Gosh I am getting so gun-shy on third round predictions.  It’s gotten so hard when you see how Jimmy Walker won with a final round 74, Russell Henley and Patrick Reed both shot 74 on Sunday to win in the last two weeks.  In the last five weeks only Bubba Watson in L.A. and Chesson Hadley in Puerto Rico broke par and Innisbrook is tough enough that Garrigus could shot over par and win on Sunday.  Now the odds on that are slim, in all the other Valspar championships ever winner has broken par except for Carl Pettersson who shot even par in his final round back in 2005.
  • Historically leading in the third round played an important role as six of the first seven winners won after leading.  Last year’s winner Kevin Streelman led and was able to hold out so history plays in Garrigus favor.
  • I still think that their is too much fire power behind Garrigus and he just isn’t playing that well to fire a fourth straight under par round. He showed signs of strain on Saturday playing his last seven holes in 2 over and I think if he doesn’t birdie the first hole he may be in for a long ride.
  • Watch Senden, Goosen and Donald.  I think one of these three will win based on the fact of good rounds on Saturday and they have the momentum on their side.  We never mentioned Charley Hoffman and Scott Langley, who are four back. These guys always seem to be “fringe” players who seem to get into the top-ten a lot but don’t win.

Who will win the Valspar on Sunday?

Best Bets:

Luke Donald

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4 Win T6 T58 T22

Loves the Copperhead course, is in the final days of a swing change. He was three shots back in 2012 and came back, he can make up four shots easily.

Retief Goosen

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T20 T28 5 Win CUT CUT T44 T20 Win

Another past champion, he has what it takes to win and it’s hard to believe that his last career win came on this course back in 2009.

John Senden

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T38 T15 T28 CUT T2 T2 CUT T44 T35

Good record in this event, just think he is playing very consistently and could find himself in the right place at the right time

Things have to work out perfectly for these two for any chance:

Robert Garrigus

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T56 T2 CUT CUT T42 CUT

Just think he is too nervous of a guy. Watch him on the first hole, it’s a par 5 that he has overpowered all week, he needs to get off to a get start to make sure the bad vibes don’t come into his mind.

Kevin Na

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T38 T44 T72 T8 WD CUT CUT T57 T13

If he can stick around most of the day and find a way of playing well the last four holes, he could sneak in with a victory

Is he really healthy enough to win?

Justin Rose

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T29 T5 T13 T14 T25 T20 T30

Can he go four rounds without a problem with his shoulder? He has the game and the course is perfect for him, but will his body allow it will be the big question.

Long shots that could come through:

Matteo Manassero

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T20

Has been sneaking up the leaderboard, it will take a really low round of 63.

Jim Furyk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7 T2 T13 Win T52 CUT

Lots of good memories here, but it will take at least a 63 to do it. How much would he love that 59 from the BMW on Sunday.

Comments

  1. anthony m says:

    Ive just read your article about who might win on sunday im,e very suprised you dont mention the weather in as much as it likely to be windy, and so who can handle the conditions.I myself fancy rose to be the best wind player of the top twenty in contension.

  2. I did look at the weather and the really bad weather comes into the Tarpon Springs area Sunday night. In looking at the wind Sunday afternoon, the weather channel was calling for 10 mph during Sunday afternoon which I didn’t feel was a factor. In waking up and rechecking Sunday morning I see it may play a factor with winds up to 20 mph from the south so you are right, wind will play a factor.

  3. One last thing, I think that despite the fact that Rose is a good wind player, those conditions may produce even more of a struggle on his shoulder. I think these conditions play into Goosen’s favor even more. It also helps guys like Na, Senden, Hoffman or anyone else that hits it a long way back into the tournament at the last minute. I think that backing into tournaments is the reason for more parody on tour, since more tournaments are won on the last couple of holes. Perfect example of this was at Honda, in a way Russell Henley did win it in a playoff, but he should of never been in that playoff because someone faltered and Henley was in the right place at the right time. As for today the Weather Channel’s hourly forecast has high winds coming after 1pm which means that someone who tees it up early could post a really low score before the wind and win it in the clubhouse. It has happened before in Florida tournaments.

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