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Saturday, April 20, 2024

2024 Valspar Championship leaderboard, scores: Keith Mitchell goes on heater as Justin Thomas implodes

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Most notable after 54 holes of the 2024 Valspar Championship is what number of golfers have an opportunity to win. Nicely, that and Keith Mitchell’s insane 3-2-2 end on one of many trickier closing stretches on the PGA Tour to take the lead getting into the ultimate 18 holes at Innisbrook on Sunday.

Mitchell took a two-shot lead over an enormous group by holing out from 151 yards on the 18th — a shot he did not even see go within the gap — to finish a 29 on the again 9 and enter the clubhouse with a 5-under 66 for the day that put him 10 underneath for the occasion. He leads three totally different golfers by two and one other trio by three.

“Clearly, some luck concerned in that, however the good factor is I executed all of the photographs I wished to,” Mitchell stated of his sturdy shut. “That is actually all I may do. I may have hit those self same photographs and made three pars and been simply as glad. … If I hit the photographs like I hit coming down the stretch [Sunday], I am going to have an opportunity. As a result of I hit ’em all the place I wished to. Johnny [Limanti, Mitchell’s caddie] and I had some good numbers, and we executed ’em effectively. Out right here with the wind, small greens, small fairways, you’ll be able to hit good photographs and never get rewarded.”

There are an unimaginable 25 gamers inside six of Mitchell’s lead and 40 inside six of second place. Given how a lot this leaderboard modified from Friday to Saturday, the closing spherical could possibly be a thriller Sunday. Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at a wild end to the third spherical at Innisbrook.

The chief

1. Keith Mitchell (-10): It was not a powerful first 13 holes for Mitchell, who stood on the par-5 14th tee field even par for the day and three again of the lead. Then he misplaced his thoughts, closing birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle, the final of which was an all time second.  Mitchell first missed seeing the outlet out as a result of he had one thing in his eye. 

Then he hilariously requested his caddie for his putter though the ball was within the gap as a result of he wished to repair his pitch mark on the inexperienced. An extremely saucy transfer for anyone who has maybe as a lot swag as anybody on the PGA Tour.

Will Mitchell shut? 

That is going to be the query of Sunday’s ultimate spherical. The golf has been good of late — three prime 20s in his final 4 begins and a little bit of competition for some time eventually week’s Gamers Championship — however “prime 20” and “holding off 20 gamers making an attempt to take excessive spot of a event” are totally different achievements. 

Mitchell has led after 54 holes one time earlier than on the PGA Tour — on the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship, the place he shot 72 within the ultimate spherical and completed T3.

“I inform myself [I’m ready to start winning more] quite a bit, and typically while you inform your self that an excessive amount of and you do not win, it truly could be a unfavourable,” he stated. “It is actually arduous to win out right here. I acquired my win early and felt like I may win extra. Sadly, that is a extremely excessive expectation out right here. Hopefully, I can proceed to work on the correct issues, possibly even add some extra stuff into my follow in order that I can simply put myself in competition extra usually. The extra you are in competition the higher probability you need to win.”

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Different contenders

T2. Seamus Energy, Mackenzie Hughes, Peter Malnati (-8)
T5. Chandler Phillips, Cameron Younger, Brendon Todd (-7)
T8. Cameron Champ, Adam Hadwin, Rico Hoey, Adam Svensson, Kevin Roy (-6)

The remainder of the leaderboard is a smorgasbord. At one level on Saturday, there have been 16 golfers with a greater than 1% probability of profitable the event however no one with a greater than 16% probability. A complete free for all.

Information Golf

The three golfers within the ultimate group on Saturday — Chandler Phillips, Kevin Streelman and Stewart Cink — went from the highest of the board to T5, T18 and T46 respectively. 

Something can occur right here on Sunday, however the gamers who’re hitting it finest (apart from Mitchell, who’s No. 1 in ball placing) are as follows.

  • Joel Dahmen (-1): 2nd in ball-striking
  • Ryan Moore (-5): third
  • Rico Hoey (-6): 4th
  • Seamus Energy (-8): fifth
  • Kevin Streelman (-5): sixth
  • Eric Cole (-2): seventh
  • Carl Yuan (-5): eighth
  • Thomas Detry (-4): ninth
  • Cameron Younger (-7): tenth

Justin Thomas took 38 putts 

J.T. birdied his first gap and seemed poised for a cost up the leaderboard. Then he performed the remainder of his spherical in 9 over. He had one of many worst placing days I’ve ever seen and didn’t make a single putt over 3 toes. His spherical included 4 three-putts. The numbers are astonishing

He began the day 5 underneath and tied with Mitchell. Eighteen holes later, he sits 13 again.

2024 Valspar Championship replace odds, picks

Odds by way of Sportsline consensus

  • Keith Mitchell: 19/10
  • Mackenzie Hughes: 13/2
  • Seamus Energy: 15/2
  • Cameron Younger: 15/2
  • Peter Malnati: 11-1
  • Brendon Todd: 12-1

I personally suppose Mitchell goes to win this event, however contemplating how bunched the board is simply behind Mitchell and the way a lot it shifted on Saturday, there’s worth in Younger at 15/2 given how he is hitting it and in among the guys additional down like Svensson (35-1), Hoey (50-1) and Yuan (110-1).

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