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Roebuck’s Valspar C’ship preview: Haas offers value for the win

| 11.03.2014

Punters have been getting pummeled on the PGA Tour this season, which is still to yield a winning favourite during the new wrap around campaign.

At first glance, this week’s Valspar Championship, held at the Copperhead course at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida, looks more likely to offer further head scratching than a trip to the payout counter.

However, a more considered look points to normal service being resumed with key, current form hopefully rewarded.

Only four players have an adjusted sub 69 scoring average over the past eight weeks, two of whom are Jordan Spieth and Harris English at 16/1, up and coming stars of the game that the odds compilers have already strangled the life out of in terms of price.

Of the other two, one has a better CV than Spieth and English put together while one is available at over three times their price – step forward Bill Haas at 25/1 and Bryce Molder at 66s.

It was not so long ago that Haas was lifting the Fedex Cup, thanks to an outrageous save from the water at East Lake in the 2011 Tour Championship.

The US Presidents Cup star hasn’t been as dominant since but has won in each of the last two seasons and his game looks poised to add a sixth tour success.

Two sixth place finishes in 2014 have been, frustratingly for each way backers, his best efforts this term but with his short game beginning to click – he ranked sixth in scrambling and 13th in putting average at Doral last week – he looks overpriced with the layers.

And that comment is an understatement when it comes to Molder, who seems to have been dismissed by the market makers just because he hasn’t played in any of the WGC events this year.

Many of the previous winners have scrambled well on the week, and it’s difficult to crab Molder’s ability to get up and down.

The Arkansas professional ranked first for scrambling in Phoenix and fifth last time out in the Northern Trust Open, and with consecutive top ten finishes coming into this week he cannot be ignored.

I couldn’t put anyone off an each-way wager on Paul Casey, although he is perhaps better placed in the Top European market, however, 100/1-shot David Lingmerth, whose triple figure quote belies solid Florida form, gets the final place in the staking plan.

He was eighth last time out in the Honda and seems to relish paying on tough tracks.

My three off the tee – Haas (25/1) , Molder (66/1) and Lingmerth (100/1).

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Roebuck