Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.
LAST TOURNAMENT: The Players Championship (Scottie Scheffler)
THIS WEEK: Valspar Championship, Palm Harbor, Fla., March 16-19
Course: Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead (Par 71, 7,340 yards)
Purse: $8.1M (Winner: $1.458M)
Defending Champion: Sam Burns
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 1-2 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-p.m.
NOTES: This is the conclusion of the PGA Tour’s “Florida Swing.” … Burns is the two-time defending champion after defeating Davis Riley in a playoff last year. He’s trying to become the first player to win a PGA Tour event three consecutive years since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11. … Akshay Bhatia, 21, makes his first start after accepting a Special Temporary Membership that allows him to accept unlimited sponsors exemptions the remainder of the season. Bhatia, Cody Gribble, John VanDerLaan and Wesley Bryan are in the field courtesy of top-10 finishes at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago. … Rory Sabbatini will make his 600th career start on tour. He has one top-10 in 15 previous event starts. … David Lingmerth, Justin Rose and Justin Suh are coming off top-10s and are three of the 85 players who competed in The Players Championship last week. … Vijay Singh holds the tournament scoring record of 18-under 266 set in 2004. … Luke Donald, who returned to No. 1 in the world rankings following his 2012 victory at the Valspar, is in the field on a sponsors exemption, as is Korn Ferry Tour player Pierceson Coody.
BEST BETS: Justin Thomas (+1000 at BetMGM) has the second-lowest scoring average in tournament history at 69.67 and finished T3 last year. He is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 10. … Jordan Spieth (+1200) won the event in 2015 and returns for the first time since missing the cut in ’18. … Matt Fitzpatrick (+1600) finished T5 last year and is looking to rebound from a MC last week. … Burns (+1600) owns a 68.63 scoring average at the Valspar, the lowest in tournament history. After a pair of MCs, he finished T35 last week. … Keegan Bradley (+2200) finished runner-up in 2021 and is the highest-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings in this week’s field at No. 4. … Riley (+3300) is coming off a MC as well, but finished runner-up last year and posted a T8 at Bay Hill two weeks ago.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Austin, Texas, March 22-26; Corales Puntacana Championship, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, March 23-26
LAST TOURNAMENT: HSBC Women’s World Championship (Jin Young Ko)
THIS WEEK: OFF.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: LPGA Drive On Championship, Gold Canyon, Ariz., March 23-26
LAST TOURNAMENT: Cologuard Classic (David Toms)
THIS WEEK: Hoag Classic, Newport Beach, Calif., March 17-19
Course: Newport Beach Country Club (Par 71, 6,821 yards)
Purse: $2M (Winner: $300,000)
Defending Champion: Retief Goosen
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Friday, 6-8 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
NOTES: The course is playing more than 200 yards longer following a redesign since last year’s event. … Bernhard Langer is seeking his 46th win on the Champions Tour, which would break his tie for the all-time record with Hale Irwin. … Duffy Waldorf holes the tournament scoring record of 20-under par 193 set in 2015. … The field includes 10 World Golf Hall of Fame members and 22 major champions.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Galleri Classic, Rancho Mirage, Calif., March 24-26
–Field Level Media