The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is a tough test and it's return to host the 20th edition of the Valspar Championship.
We have lots of history to lean on but a new date on the calendar also means the course set up will look a little different this week. Most importantly, the temperatures should have been warm enough in the lead-up to allow the bermuda to thrive. That usually isn't the case at this event where they've dealt with overseeded rye and poa trivialis in year's past.
So, first thing I want to do is check what golfers might like the switch to bermuda. From there, I will take a peak at recent bogey avoidance to see how can build momentum with a string of pars instead of dropping too many unforced bogeys. This course is tough enough as it is.
Bermudagrass Putting Stats
A late April - early May date this year means that the overseed will cede it's dominance in favor of the bermudagrass.
Let's see who has gained strokes putting most consistently when putting on bermuda, over the last two years:
Kevin Na ($35): Fewer people usually click his name than he deserves, due to his history of injuries and WDs. That being said, when he is healthy, he can heat up the flat stick just as well as anyone. His course history at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course includes four top 15s including a runner-up finish at the 2014 edition.
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The scoring environment at the Copperhead Course is extremely difficult.
Over the last five years the field averages roughly 14 bogeys or worse per 72 holes played. That puts it only behind Augusta National, Quail Hollow Club, Riviera, and Torrey Pines South in terms bogey rate.
Let's see what golfers are keeping bogeys off their card lately. Here are the top bogey avoiders over the last 12 rounds played for each golfer:
Jason Kokrak ($33): He's slowed his pace a touch but he's not too far removed from three straight top 10s, all on the Florida Swing. We are back in the Sunshine State this week and now he heads to a course where he has top 15s in four of his last six appearances. The average salary per golfer is $33 which is Kokrak's salary this week but he is far from average. A really good value option that fits into top-heavy or balanced roster constructions.
Hopefully, these stats will give you some names to dive into when it comes to researching your final selections this week over at Yahoo!