Copperhead Course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbour, Florida
Par 71, 7,340 yards
The PGA Tour stays in Florida this week as we head to Copperhead. There are four golf courses at Innisbrook, all designed by Larry Packard, the oldest of which is the Island Course, which was completed in 1970. The Copperhead Course came next in 1974, and originally had 27 holes before nine were used as the basis of the Highlands North Course. The final addition was the Highlands South Course.
The Copperhead course underwent some subtle changes last year with bigger tee boxes, re shaped bunkers around the greens and re grassed fairways. It is a lengthy par 71 and has four par 5’s, five par 3’s and nine par 4’s. All but one of the par 3’s measure over 200 yards and will demand good accurate iron play to score on the greens, which are smaller than average for PGA Tour standards.
Three of the four par 5’s, the first, 11th and 14th are pretty easy and should offer up plenty of birdies. Two out of the four par 5’s have double doglegs so an accurate tee shot can be well rewarded. Although this course is long, there is more of an emphasis on accuracy with players reaping the rewards with accuracy off the tee on some holes.
Players that can work the ball both directions off the tee should also have a big advantage. Just like last week in Doral, water will be a key feature this week with it coming into play on 9 out of the 18 holes. This course features three tricky closing holes on the back nine in the shape of 16, 17 and 18 which are called the “Snake Pit”. It consists of two very tricky par 4’s and a difficult par 3 and is known as one of the most difficult closing three hole stretches on Tour.
There are a few stats to consider on this course, the first one being accuracy off the tee. It also boasts five par 3’s and four par 5’s so be on the lookout for good par 3 and par 5 performance stats. The greens here are Bermuda greens and are quite small and tricky to read so be on the lookout for good GIR stats and accurate iron players.
Danny Willett 20/1
Danny was really impressive last week in Doral and if it weren’t for one slightly pulled tee shot on the 18th, he could have been in a position to win had it not found the water. Instead he finished with a bogey to finish 10 under and T3 for the tournament. He has been playing great golf over the last few months with a win in Dubai in early February, a T4 at The Nedbank Challenge and a T4 at the DP World Tour Championship.
Danny looked particularly impressive last week with his irons and around the greens which should bode well around Copperhead. He ranks eighth in stroke average, 38th in GIR and 14th in strokes gained putting. After playing great last week in a top class field, Danny looks in fine form coming into this week and could be one to watch.
Harris English 33/1
English has been in good form and comes into this week on the back of two top 10’s in his last three starts. He had a great week in Phoenix shooting a superb final round 66 to finish in 12 under and solo third for the tournament. He followed that with another solid performance last week in Doral finishing solo 10th on four under for the week.
He has played well here in the past finishing T10 here last year and T7 in 2013 and ranks 29th in SGP and 34th in par 4 scoring. After two good performances recently Harris English could be another danger man here this week.
Jason Dufner 30/1
Dufner has had a good season so far and had a good week in Doral finishing T11. He started well shooting 68,72 and had a poor third round 77 that took him out of contention but finished strongly with a 68 in the final round to finish three under par for the tournament. He started the season with a back to back T9’s at The RSM Classic and The Sony and followed that with a win at The CareerBuilder Challenge. He has gone a bit cold over the last few weeks but showed a return to form last week and it comes at a good time.
Dufner has a good record here finishing T24 last year, T14 in 2014, T21 in 2013, T10 in 2012 and back to back T28’s in 2011 and 2010. He is hitting 65% of fairways off the tee and ranks 39th in GIR, 28th in SGTTG and 30th in par 5 scoring. If it weren’t for a third round 77 last week in Doral, it could have been a different week for Dufner and can bounce back strongly here this week.
K.J Choi 45/1
K.J came close to a win in Torrey Pines recently but just finished one shy of Brandt Snedeker. He played well all week shooting 68,67,72 and then got hit hard by the stormy weather and shot a final round 76 to finish solo 2nd. He followed that with a T17 at The Phoenix Open and finished T5 in Riviera at The Northern Trust Open.
Choi has a good record around Copperhead with a win in 2006, T6 in 2007, second in 2010 and T21 in 2013. He ranks 23rd in driving accuracy, 26th in SGP, third in par 3 scoring and fourth in sand saves. With good form over the last few weeks and a good record here K.J looks great value here at 45’s.
Ryan Moore 45/1
With four top 11’s in his last six starts, Ryan Moore comes into this week looking like a serious contender. He started the season with a T10 at The Frys, T10 at The CIMB Classic, T11 in Phoenix and a solo 10th in Riviera at The Northern Trust Open which included a superb ace on the 16th in the final round. Moore played well here last year finishing solo fifth which could have been a lot better if it weren’t for a disappointing final round 72.
He is hitting over 65% of fairways off the tee and ranks 31st in SGTTG, 40th in SGP, second in par 3 scoring and ninth in par 4 scoring. After a good performance here last year Moore looks great value here to have another good week.
Final selections –
Danny Willett 2pts EW 20/1
Harris English 1pt EW 33/1
Jason Dufner 1pt EW 30/1
K.J Choi 1pt EW 45/1
Ryan Moore 1pt EW 45/1
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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