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Best bets for PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship

Paul Casey will try to become the first player in 10 years and the 10th since World War II to three-peat at a PGA Tour event at this week’s Valspar Championship.

Casey, who won the tournament in 2018 and 2019, is the 22-1 sixth choice to win the event in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the third straight time. Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are the 11-1 co-favorites at Circa sportsbook.

Handicapper Wes Reynolds, co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting show, has targeted some longer shots as his best bets. Here they are, with his comments on each:

Sungjae Im, 28-1

“Im placed fourth here in his debut in 2019. He has always taken a liking to Florida courses and even more of a liking to Bermudagrass.”

Justin Rose, 33-1

“Rose was the 18-hole leader and 36-hole leader at the Masters before finishing in seventh place. Last week, he partnered with longtime friend Henrik Stenson and finished 11th in New Orleans.

“Rose has shown solid form for a bit now. The reunion with longtime coach Sean Foley seems to be paying dividends.”

Jason Kokrak, 35-1

“Kokrak was the runner-up here two years ago and has two other top-10 finishes in his last five appearances here.

“Kokrak also is tops in this field for bogey avoidance, which could prove to be crucial here, especially in ‘The Snake Pit,’ the signature stretch of closing holes 16 to 18 where pars are good scores all four days.”

Joaquin Niemann, 36-1

Reynolds noted that Niemann ranks in the top 10 in this week’s field in several key statistical categories.

“He has cooled off a bit from his January form, but this looks like a spot where he could return to the first page of the leaderboard.”

Chris Kirk, 50-1

Kirk enters in the top six in the field in several key analytics over his last 24 rounds.

“Kirk has never really (played) that well at the Valspar, but it is difficult to argue the recent form,” Reynolds said.

Doug Ghim, 100-1

“He just missed the top 10 last week, finishing 11th in New Orleans playing with fellow young upstart Justin Suh.”

Danny Willett, 140-1

“Willett tied for eighth last week with fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton in New Orleans. While he did not drive the ball well at the RBC Heritage a couple weeks ago, he did gain six strokes on the greens and may be able to continue to ride that hot putter here.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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