2023 Valspar Championship Picks, Odds: Back Justin Rose to Continue Resurgence
David Cannon/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Rose.
Scottie Scheffler got his second win of 2023 and did so in dominating fashion over one of the strongest fields in golf. His five-shot victory vaulted him back into the top spot of the Official World Golf Rankings, which he and Jon Rahm jockey for every time they tee it up.
Neither will play this week as the Tour stays in Florida for the Valspar Championship from Innisbrook Resort. There are still a solid number of big names ready to play again this week, which is a bit surprising with the Match Play on deck and after the past two weeks of big tournaments.
Justin Thomas is one of the headliners and has made it clear he thinks he has a better shot of winning this week and will play Innisbrook instead of the Match Play. He will have to defeat Sam Burns, the two-time defending champion, if he’s going to get the crown this week. Other top names like Jordan Spieth and Matt Fitzpatrick will also be in the field.
The good news for us as handicappers is we can really hone in on a similar skillset for players this week as we had going into TPC Sawgrass. It’ll be important for players to be in the fairway off the tee and that is much more vital than distance, especially as the course has grown the rough up to 3.75″ for this year’s tournament.
Approach play, as always, will be the number one metric. Pairing that with a hot putter will lead us to the winner this week in Palm Harbor.
Justin Rose seems to have found things with his game in 2023. We have seen a number of veteran players having a resurgence, but while Jason Day and Rickie Fowler are discussed a bit more, it’s Rose who has broken through for a win. He continued to show the form that made him the champion at Pebble Beach in February as the Englishman posted another top-10 finish this past week at Sawgrass.
Rose was sharp in all aspects of his game tee-to-green, gaining nearly nine shots in that metric with seven of those coming via his ball striking. He is checking all of the boxes for me this week with that recent form, a course history with two top 10s in four trips, and a course fit with the strength of his long iron play. Rose will be the first name I look for Monday, hopefully at a comfortable number behind the lead tier.
I’m going to continue to ride on Taylor Moore train until it pays off or I go broke. Time will tell which comes first! I love his combination of accuracy and overall ball striking as he bounced back from an uncharacteristically tough week on approach at the Arnold Palmer by gaining more than a shot on the field with his irons in three of his four rounds at Sawgrass.
Saturday was Moore’s biggest day as his 7-under 65 vaulted him up the leaderboard before he stumbled down the stretch Sunday, playing the final four holes at four over on his way to a T35 finish.
Moore gained nearly five shots on approach over one of the best fields in the game and again showed his ball striking travels. The key for him will be finding enough with his short game to really contend for a win and that should be baked in for mid- to long-shot odds at open on Monday.
It seems we are finally seeing Justin Suh rise to the top-level form that was expected when he came out of Southern California in 2019. He became the forgotten man of the group that included Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland as they quickly rose to stardom and Suh struggled to find his way in the professional game.
Suh has arrived though after his first top five at the Honda was followed by a solid 24th-place finish in the elevated Arnold Palmer Invitational field. He then backed that up with a T6 this past week at The Players. He is showing some really great form and we are heading to a similar-style track this week for the Valspar. I am hopeful he stays below the radar enough for us to get a solid long-shot number in a field where he has far fewer elite names to beat to position himself for his maiden win.
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