PGA TOUR: Valspar Championship
VENUE: Copperhead Course, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Florida
The Copperhead courses has historically been one of the sternest tests of all-round game on the Tour Schedule, highlighted by its closing trio of holes. Known as the 'Snake Pit', all three holes have averaged over par in every tournament held at the course, dating back to 2000. Anyone who is around the top of the leaderboard on Sunday will know that getting through unscathed will be the key to lifting the trophy.
Last year, Paul Casey fired a brilliant 65 to win by one stroke over Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods, after Reed had made a bogey on his final hole to fall out of a share of the lead. This time around the favourite is Dustin Johnson, who is as low as 4/1 in some places due to his impressive start to 2019, picking up two victories already.
Sergio Garcia 1pt OUTRIGHT 18/1
The PGA Tour's leader in Strokes Gained: Approach-The-Green fired a 67 on Sunday at The Players to finish in a tie for 22nd place, to go with Top 10 finishes in his previous two starts. This should give him plenty of confidence heading into the Valspar where he has finished T16 or better in his last four starts, including 4th last year.
It is no coincidence that we have picked two previous Masters winners this week as it is arguably the most important time of the year for them. A win, or podium finish, would throw Garcia firmly amongst the favourites for a second Green Jacket come April.
Bubba Watson 0.5pts E/W 50/1 (1/5 odds 8 places)
50/1 seems long odds for a two-time major winner who also won 3 times on the PGA Tour last season. Although he's not particularly known for consistency he's only missed one cut since the PGA Championship last year and has 6 Top 20s in that time. It is always hard to predict with Bubba but he has historically performed very well at this time of year with wins at the Dell Matchplay and Masters, events which are just around the corner.
He did miss the cut here last time out but that was during the 2017 season where he made the disastrous decision to switch balls, so we aren't paying much attention to that.
The Long Shot
Rory Sabbatini 0.5pts E/W 200/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
Yes, this is a bold choice but there is a decent argument to be had for the now-qualified Slovakian. He comfortably made the cut in his last two events at the Honda Classic and The Players, two tough golf courses, so should now be well-rehearsed in the practise of grinding out scores on difficult tracks.
He was in the mix last week after two rounds but eventually faded away to T35. Sabbatini finished T5 last year at the Valspar with four solid rounds, firing 67 and 69 at the weekend. At 200/1 he's worth a punt again this year if he can replicate that form.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Maybank Championship
VENUE: Saujana Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A tight, tree-lined golf course, Saujana is a test of mental strength as well as ability, as the players will need to choose wisely when to attack and defend. The greens are small and slopey so quality ball-striking is key, and with the temperature set to be humid and over 30 degrees, it may not be quite as easy as 2018's -21 winning total suggests.
Last year, Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma announced himself to the golfing world with a brilliant final-round 62 to take the title over Jorge Campillo.
Ryan Fox 1pt OUTRIGHT 25/1
Fox claimed his first European Tour victory earlier this year in Perth, and has been pretty solid all season. Having played 7 events in a row all over the word, Fox took a well-deserved break for a couple of weeks and is back and should be raring to go again in Malaysia.
He finished T11 in his last outing in New Zealand so should be feeling pretty confident, and the fact that he was T3 at this course in 2018 should only help that. His ball-striking and length off the tee are his biggest assets, so if he gets it right he could contend again this week.
Pablo Larrazabal 0.5pts E/W 50/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
The Spaniard has enjoyed a decent start to the season with 3 Top 20s in 5 starts. He shared 3rd place with Fox in Malaysia last year and was T29 in 2017, his worst finish in eight starts here, so has plenty of experience at the course and seems to like it.
After a slow start last time out in Qatar he improved to finish T27 thanks to a closing 66 so should be feeling good heading in.
The Long Shot
Panuphol Pittayarat 0.5pts E/W 150/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
Though he spends almost all of his time on the Asian Tour, World Number 209 Pittayarat could be an outside shot for a decent finish this week. Having finished in the Top 15 in 4 of his last 5 events he's in good form, and appears to suit courses where ball-striking and strategy are all-important.
Finishes of T23 and T9 at this event in the past two year make the 150/1 price look pretty high.