Golf tips and free bets: Three picks for the Valspar Championship including 100/1 shot who finished second last week

THE VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP takes place this week with Paul Casey looking for a three-peat in Florida.

Casey can become the first player to win the same event three times in a row since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic (2009-2011).

But he’ll have his work cut out against a decent looking field this week.

Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson headline with Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland and Louis Oosthuizen also involved.

And our man, who picked Aussie pair Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman last week, has his tips for the tournament here.

Hot shot: Patrick Reed, 20-1

Did each way backers a favour at the Masters by finishing strongly into a share of eighth place, and has taken a break since Augusta – and hopefully worked on hitting his irons a bit straighter.

Reed is leading the putting stats on the PGA Tour, and once he starts hitting a few more greens he will be winning again.

A couple of seconds and a third here in the last few years prove his game is a great fit for Innisbrook.

Middle Price: Jason Kokrak, 35-1

Chris Kirk at 50-1 and Sam Burns at 70s looked tempting after good performances in the Zurich Classic, but the in-form Kokrak gets the vote because of his previous strong showings in this event.

Kokrak was joint runner-up here two years ago – the last time the tournament was held – and finished in the top eight the previous year, and in 2015.

Looked ready to kick on after top tens in his three previous stroke play outings, at the Concession, Bay Hill and Sawgrass. 

Long shot: Charl Schwartzel, 100-1.

Showed his best form for ages when he finished T26 at the Masters – ten years on from his stunning victory at Augusta – and used that as the launchpad for a great run at the Zurich Classic, where he and Louis Oosthuizen were beaten in a play-off.

He is also a past winner here, in 2015, and underlined his liking for the course with a decent title defence, finishing sixth 12 months later.

Should be feeling good about his game after his last two efforts, and worth an interest at a three-figure price.

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