- The Valspar Championship is March 16-19 from the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.
- First Round Leader (FRL) bets are becoming quite popular.
The 2023 Valspar Championship will begin Thursday, March 16, from the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort just outside Tampa, Florida.
While the course isn’t easy by PGA Tour standards, good scores can be had. Padraig Harrington and Matthew NeSmith share the tournament record for 18 holes; both have shot 61.
Harrington did it in 2012, while NeSmith matched him last year.
Who could post the best score in Thursday’s first round? Below are my first round leader bets for the week.
Valspar Championship 2023: First Round Leader Bets
Davis Riley First Round Leader +4000
Riley lost in a playoff to Sam Burns a year ago, which shows he has the course history. And on the way to that second-place finish, he shot 62 in the third round. The second-year pro is knocking on the door for his first win and can go low each time he tees it up.
Brian Harman First Round Leader +4500
Harman is fourth on the PGA Tour this season in first round scoring average (67.5), and he finished fifth at this tournament last year. Those two factors make him a good option to be the first round leader. He finished T-44 at the Players Championship last year and enters in decent form.
Akshay Bhatia First Round Leader +8000
Although he’s only played four first rounds on the PGA Tour this season, Bhatia is 10th in first round scoring average (67.75). And now that he’s a special temporary member now, the 21-year-old could be more relaxed than usual.
He closed the Puerto Rico Open with a 65, so if he can carry the momentum over he has a shot at being in the lead around Round 1.
What is a First Round Leader Bet?
A first round leader bet, or FRL bet, is a wager on a player to be in the lead at the end of the first round of a tournament.
Some players start faster than others, so this is a good bet for players who can put one round together but can’t hold it together over 72 holes to win outright.
Often the odds for some players are better to be the FRL than to win outright. Selecting long shots for FRL bets can be better than to win outright.
These bets also take one day, as opposed to having money tied up for a 72-hole event for other full tournament bets.
Read More: Valspar Championship 2023: Predictions, Best Bets, Sleepers
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