Author Archives: Tampa Bay Championship

Paul Casey Goes Back-to-Back!

25 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

For the first time in tournament history, the Valspar Championship has a back-to-back champion as Paul Casey once again hoisted The Golden Brush.

Unlike last year’s victory when he shot 65 the final day to post the early clubhouse lead and held on, this time Casey closed as the leader, holding his third round lead with a one-over par 72 to finish one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Kokrak who both bogeyed the final hole to fall to -7. Needing a par to win, Casey found the bunker off the tee at the final hole, but put his approach 22 feet from the hole and two-putted for the win.

With the victory, Casey joined K.J. Choi (2002 & 2006) and Retief Goosen (2003 & 2009) as two-time winners of the event, but he is the first to post his wins consecutively. Last year, Casey ended a nine-year drought with his second PGA TOUR victory. Next year, he could become the first player since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic in 2009-2011 to win an event three years in a row (Brooks Koepka also has that opportunity at this year’s U.S. Open).

With the win, Casey also becomes the leading money-winner in tournament history. He advances to fourth in the current FedExCup standings and moves to #11 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Bubba Watson, a two-time winner at the Masters, closed with 68 to tie for 4th with 20-year-old South Korean sensation Sungjae Im.

World number 1 Dustin Johnson, who trailed by one shot when the day began, posted his first final round over par since the 2018 Genesis Open with a birdie-free 74. He still finished tied for 6th with Jon Rahm and Ryan Armour.

Veteran Luke Donald was in the group tied for 9th at -4 and with that became the first golfer in tournament history with 5 Top 10 finishes. Jim Furyk finished 18th, and also set a tournament record with his 7th Top 20.

The tournament presented Casey’s caddie John McLaren with a special commemorative caddie bib for their collaboration.

McLaren’s caddie bib read “The Champ” during tournament week as part of the Valspar Championship hosting the PGA TOUR Spring Break. It should be noted that this is McLaren’s third win at The Valspar, as he was on the bag for Luke Donald in 2012.

New Champion Crowned Today, Could Be Same As Old One!

24 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

The Valspar Championship will crown a new champion today – and it could be the same as the old one.

The 2018 winner Paul Casey has launched a spirited defense of his title and enters the final round on Sunday at the top of the leaderboard, one shot ahead at -9. Casey will try to be the first player ever to defend at The Valspar and the third player all-time in this event to own two victories, joining K.J. Choi (2002 and 2006) and Retief Goosen (2003 and 2009).

But his task is formidable as his closest pursuer is World Number 1 Dustin Johnson who sits at -8 and will play with him in today’s final grouping at 2:00. Johnson will be looking for his 21st career PGA TOUR victory in his first appearance on the Copperhead since 2010. “It’s a good golf course,” Johnson said after the round “It’s tough tee to green and you know if you shoot a couple under par each day, come Saturday, Sunday, you’re going to be right in the mix. The golf course plays tough, which I like and it’s going to be a good day tomorrow.”

Johnson will be paired with Casey for the third time this week as they were also in the same group on Thursday and Friday with Gary Woodland.

Casey, trying to make history with back-to-back Valspar titles, feels the pressure is taken off playing with the World Number 1. “He (Johnson) is the best player in the world,” Casey said Saturday. “Who is the favorite tomorrow? Probably Dustin. So I actually feel very little kind of pressure.”

Casey and Johnson are not alone in the quest to hoist the Golden Brush. Nine other golfers are within four shots of the lead, led by Jason Kokrak at -7, two shots back. Kokrak shot a round of 66 that was highlighted by the 11th hole in one in tournament history at the 15th hole on Saturday. It was the first since Jonathan Byrd also had one at the 15th in 2015. For Kokrak, it was his second PGA TOUR ace.

Other top pursuers include including past Valspar champions Luke Donald at -6 and Jim Furyk at -5. Both Donald and Furyk could set a tournament record with a 5th top 10 finish. If Furyk finishes in the top 20, it would be a record 7th time. Furyk, Donald and Casey also could join Retief Goosen and K.J. Choi as the only players in tournament history with more than $2 million in winnings.

Louis Oosthuizen, who won The Open Championship in 2010, is also in the mix at -5 after he joined Jason Kokrak, in third at -7, with the low rounds of the day, 66, on Chick-fil-A Moooving Day.
– – –
A large crowd enjoyed a first-class show from country music star Brad Paisley Saturday night at Valspar LIVE presented by Chick-fil-A.

Familiar Name Shares The Lead!

23 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

A familiar name shares the lead after two rounds of the 2019 Valspar Championship, as last year’s winner Paul Casey is tied after 36 holes with Austin Cook at 6 under par. With his caddie, John McLaren, wearing a bib that says “The Champ,” Casey shot 66 on Friday despite bogeying his final hole, the par-four ninth.

Asked about the Copperhead Course afterwards, Casey said, “It’s a great golf course…You know I like it because I’m defending champion. Champions always like the golf courses they win on. But, it is really quality. It’s very tough as well.”

Casey is bidding to be the first player to win The Valspar in consecutive years. K.J. Choi (2002 & 2006) and Retief Goosen (2003 & 2009) are the only players to have won twice on the Copperhead, but neither went back-to-back.

Three players are tied for 6th at -5 – three-time PGA TOUR winner Scott Stallings, 2018 Web.com Tour Player of the Year Singjae Im and 2012 Valspar Championship winner Luke Donald.

Casey played with Dustin Johnson, and the World #1 shot his second consecutive 69, despite a double bogey at the watery 13th. At -4, he is just two shots off the lead. “Anything under par around here is a good score and I’m happy with the position I’m in. The course is in perfect condition and it is tough.”

Curtis Luck, the last alternate to make the field, has made the most of his opportunity. With Kevin Na’s withdrawal as the tournament was beginning Thursday morning, Luck shot 70-68, and is tied with Johnson and first round co-leader Joel “Leaping Cougar” Dahmen at -4.

The 70 players who made the cut are bunched together tightly with a margin of seven strokes from the leaders to those who made it on the number. That’s the slimmest margin in a PGA Tour event since the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. The last PGA event with a smaller margin after 36 holes (6 strokes) was the 2016 Travelers Championship.

Looking at tomorrow’s pairings, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson will be teeing it up for the third straight day at 12:50 p.m. Former champion Luke Donald joins the World #1 player, Dustin Johnson at 1:40. They are two shots behind the leaders, defending champion Paul Casey and Austin Cook, who have the last tee time at 2:00.

SHOT SPOTS – Nick Watney is playing the Copperhead on the weekend for the 12th time – and that ties the tournament record for cuts made with Charles Howell III…Luke Donald (T-3) and Jim Furyk (T-15) are looking for a top 10 finish on the Copperhead for a tournament record 5th time…Four players have been able to navigate the Copperhead course in the first two rounds in the 60’s: Luke Donald, Austin Cook, Scott Stallings, and Dustin Johnson. Brian Gay has extended his Valspar record by playing in the tournament for the 18th time, one more than K.J. Choi who also played this week…The cut line, top 70 and ties, fell exactly at 70 for the second time in three years at the Valspar Championship.

– – –
A large crowd is expected for Saturday’s Valspar Championship – the third round of PGA TOUR golf, followed by Valspar LIVE presented by Chick-fil-A starring Brad Paisley.
For the best possible experience, fans are encouraged to arrive early. Entrance to all events, including the concert, is through the regular tournament entrances.
Only shuttle buses and vehicles with special designated on-site parking passes will be admitted through the gates of Innisbrook Resort. All fans should enter the Copperhead Course and make their way to the 14th hole. The site of the concert, the Osprey Driving Range will open for attendees at 4 p.m. and the best locations will go to those who arrive earliest.

MetLife Championship Pro Am Day

20 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

After a professional practice day on Tuesday, 90 pros will appear in the 2019 MetLife Championship Pro-Am on Wednesday. Each pro will play nine holes in a format change from previous tournaments. Then, the competition in the 2019 Valspar Championship begins on the Copperhead Course on Thursday.

– – –

The PGA TOUR announced their feature groupings for the first two rounds on Tuesday.

Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the world, is paired with defending champion Paul Casey and Gary Woodland, the 2011 winner of the Valspar Championship. They go off the 1st hole at 1:03 p.m., just ahead of another stellar pairing of Brandt Snedeker, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2010 Valspar Championship winner Jim Furyk.

Thursday morning’s feature pairings are Webb Simpson, Jason Day and Jon Rahm off the 10th tee at 8:13 a.m. ahead of a grouping of the last two Masters champions Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia with Henrik Stenson.

Monday Qualifiers plus the Veterans Alternative Pro-Celebrity-Am

19 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

Sangmoon Bae, a member of the Valspar Championship’s only four-man playoff in 2012, is among the four Monday qualifiers determined today at the Southern Hills Plantation Club. He shot 6-under-par 66, as did Brian Davis and Roberto Diaz. Luke Donald won that 2012 playoff that also included Jim Furyk and Robert Garrigus.

The final spot was determined only after a playoff that lasted five holes. Canadian David Hearn outlasted Steve Marino and Piri Borja among a trio who shot 67.

Between them Bae, Davis and Hearn have played in the Valspar Championship 23 times. It will be the first time for Diaz.

– – –

A good time was had by all at the Veterans Alternative Pro-Celebrity-Am. Buccaneers coach Bruce Ariens (in red) joined the event for the first time. A team led by Chase Wright with former MLB pitcher David Wells won the event.

The First Event In Books @ Valspar Championship

18 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

The first event is in the books as Valspar Championship Week kicked off with a festive St. Patrick’s Day crowd of 650 participating in the Veterans Alternative 5K on Sunday afternoon. All of the participants received a certificate for Valspar Paint, a medal and an exceptional post-race party in the expanded Benchmark International Club at the 17th green. Michael Nasuta of Palm Harbor was first across the finish line while Reese Small led the female participants.

– – –

The final four spots in the Valspar Championship field will also be determined in a Monday qualifier at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville.

– – –

Tickets for the Valspar Championship are on sale for all four competition days and Wednesday’s MetLife Championship Pro-Am at ValsparChampionship.com and at Publix. The Hooters Owl’s Nest is sold out for Friday and Saturday, with tickets still on sale for Thursday and Sunday. Parking can also be secured in advance at ValsparChampionship.com and fans are encouraged to reach the tournament by Uber, with a new Uber Lounge opening in the Red Lot close to the course

CASEY AND TAMPA BAY ARE WINNERS FROM 2018 VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

19 Sep

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

Paul Casey, winner of 13 European Tour events and a three-time Ryder Cup participant, shot a final round 65 to climb back from five shots off the pace and win the 2018 Valspar Championship. His 274 total of 10 under par was one ahead of Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed. The victory vaulted Casey to 12th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

“It just was a great week,” said the 40-year-old Englishman afterwards. “The buzz, everything about it, the roars, the course. I loved it. As soon as I turned up (here this week), I had a good feeling and obviously I’ll be back next year. But it’s one tournament I now will probably have on the schedule forever.”

The Tampa Bay area, particularly some of the local charities, were also big winners. With attendance up to 150,000 from 112,000 in 2017 (up 34%), the Valspar Championship expects to announce charitable contributions of more than $2.5 million later this year.

The tournament was of course energized by the appearance of Woods, the PGA TOUR’s all-time money winner, who sent out the following tweet on Sunday night.

“We have so many people and things to be thankful for,” says Tournament Director Tracy West. “First, to the golf fans of the Tampa Bay area. They came out in great numbers, they understood the situation and they were respectful and supportive of all the golfers. We had a lot of challenges to get ready for so many more patrons and our tournament staff and volunteers did a great job. We think our operations got better every day and from what we hear the vast majority of our fans had a great time. The result of all of it should be a substantial improvement in our final amount of money generated for charity which we will announce in a couple of months.”

The 2018 Valspar Championship was a great showcase for the Tampa Bay area. The 5.1 rating received by NBC for Sunday’s coverage was the best for any non-Masters golf event since the 2015 PGA Championship.

COLOR SHOTS: A total of 1,212 birdies were made in the tournament, setting the number for donations for the tournament’s Birdies for Tampa Bay Charities program…Casey only missed three putts all day in fashioning his closing 65…Casey is the 9th international winner of the Valspar Championship, third in a row and second (also Luke Donald) from England…Sergio Garcia, in his final event before becoming a father for the first time, joined Casey in shooting 65 in the final round and finished 4th…Casey tied Charl Schwartzel’s 2016 record by winning despite trailing by five shots after the third round…Brian Gay now holds the tournament record by playing in the Valspar Championship 17 times, while Charles Howell III now has the mark with 12 cuts made…Jim Furyk equaled a tournament record with his 4th finish in the top 10….Defending champion Adam Hadwin tied for 12th, his third straight top 12 finish this year…The tournament went without a hole in one for the third straight year…Sean O’Hair had the only eagle on a par four this week, the fifth in tournament history on the 6th hole.

CONNERS LEADS FOR 3RD STRAIGHT ROUND WITH WOODS, ROSE, SNEDEKER JUST ONE BACK

19 Sep

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

The final round of the Valspar Championship will feature a packed leaderboard with star power. Three acknowledged champions – Tiger Woods, with 79 PGA TOUR victories; 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Justin Rose and eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brandt Snedeker – are all tied at 8-under-par.

But the solo leader, as it has been for the first three rounds, is Corey Conners, a relatively unknown 26-year old Canadian. Conners, who did not get into the tournament until Monday, has never finished in the top 20 in a PGA TOUR event, much less won one.

On a Saturday without much wind, Conners had a 68 – his third straight round in the 60s – to finish -9, and stay ahead of Rose at 66 and Woods and Snedeker at 67.

Woods gave notice that his comeback is on track, making five birdies against one bogey and held a share of the lead during the round.

Rose, back at Innisbrook after a two-year absence, has finished in the top 20 five times in nine previous starts on the Copperhead. Snedeker, who will be playing with Woods for the second straight round and fifth time this year, has a 4th and an 8th in eight previous tournaments at Innisbrook.

1 Corey Conners -9
T-2 Tiger Woods -8
T-2 Brandt Snedeker -8
T-2 Justin Rose -8
T-5 Sam Burns -6
T-5 Patrick Reed -6
T-7 Tyrone Van Aswegen -5
T-7 Ryan Palmer -5
T-7 Kelly Kraft -5
T-7 Rory Sabbatini -5
T-11 Webb Simpson -4
T-11 Louis Oosthuizen -4
T-11 Adam Scott -4
T-11 Paul Casey -4
T-11 Branden Grace -4
T-11 Russell Knox -4
T-11 Trey Mullinax -4

The Osprey Driving Range rocked to Valspar LIVE! on Saturday night featuring Jake Owen and Dustin Lynch.

SUNDAY
As play begins on Sunday, 16 players are within five shots of the lead

Canadians have held the solo lead at the end of each of the last five rounds of the Valspar Championship.

If Tiger Woods gets an 80th PGA TOUR victory today, he will be two behind Sam Snead’s PGA TOUR record of 82

It seems likely that a 16th different individual will become a Valspar Championship winner today. Of the five past champions in the field, Sean O’Hair (2008) is in the best position at 3 under par, six back.

TICKET UPDATE
Select A Day Tickets for Sunday’s final round of the Valspar Championship are on sale at ValsparChampionship.com and at the tournament admission gate. Ticket sales at Publix have closed. Other ticket packages, including the Hooters Owl’s Nest, are sold out.

PARKING UPDATE
Advance on-line parking at the three main lots – Green, Red and Silver – is sold out.

Cash parking for $10, with shuttle busing, is available at two additional lots near the course on an as available basis. Parking at the Bronze Lot at Palm Harbor University High School. You are advised to purchase Bronze Lot parking in advance.

The Keystone Lot at the southeast corner of Keystone and East Lake Road, convenient for fans in northern Hillsborough County, as well as Pasco County, is cash only on a first-come, first-parked basis.

Fans approaching from the south will find ample parking at Great Bay Distributors at 2750 Eagle Avenue North, off 28th Street in St. Petersburg, north of Gandy Boulevard. That is also served by shuttle buses.

Fans without advanced parking are highly encouraged to use Yellow Cab/United Taxi or a ride share service. Passengers will be dropped off at 169 West Klosterman Road and shuttled the short distance to the course.

CONNERS LEADS AGAIN, WOODS AMONG FIVE TWO SHOTS BACK

19 Sep

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

SATURDAY
After Friday’s cut at 3 over par, 78 players remain on in the field. Tee times, in twosomes, begin at 7:35 a.m. Saturday with the final grouping of Corey Conners and Paul Casey teeing off at 1:55 p.m. Brandt Snedeker and Tiger Woods are in front of them at 1:45.

Among the interesting pairings are Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar at 9:25; Jim Furyk and Charl Schwartzel, a pair of past Valspar champions at 10:35 and Justin Rose and Webb Simpson, both past U.S. Open champs at 1:15.

The PGA TOUR has released the tee times for Saturday’s third round can be viewed here.

After play, Jake Owen and Dustin Lynch take the stage on the Osprey Driving Range for the fourth Valspar LIVE! concert.

TICKET UPDATE
Select A Day Tickets for the Valspar Championship remain on sale for both Saturday and Sunday at ValsparChampionship.com and at the tournament admission gate. Ticket sales at Publix have closed. Other ticket packages, including the Hooters Owl’s Nest, are sold out.

PARKING UPDATE
Advance on-line parking at the three main lots – Green, Red and Silver – is sold out.

Cash parking for $10, with shuttle busing, is available at two additional lots near the course on an as available basis. Parking at the Bronze Lot at Palm Harbor University High School. You are advised to purchase Bronze Lot parking in advance.

The Keystone Lot at the southeast corner of Keystone and East Lake Road, convenient for fans in northern Hillsborough County, as well as Pasco County, is cash only on a first-come, first-parked basis.

Fans approaching from the south will find ample parking Great Bay Distributors at 2750 Eagle Avenue North, off 28th Street in St. Petersburg, north of Gandy Boulevard. That is also served by shuttle buses.

Fans without advanced parking are highly encouraged to use Yellow Cab/United Taxi or a ride share service. Passengers will be dropped off at 169 West Klosterman Road and shuttled the short distance to the course.

ADAM HADWIN TAKES THRILLING VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

13 Mar

posted by

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 0

Surviving a 16th hole double bogey, Adam Hadwin is a PGA TOUR victor for the first time after he captured the 2017 Valspar Championship presented by BB&T by one stroke over Patrick Cantlay on Sunday.

Hadwin had held a 4-shot lead going into the final round and still led by two shots over Cantlay with three holes to play despite the latter’s barrage of five birdies in a six-hole stretch. However, Hadwin’s drive at 16 wandered right into the water for the six that tied things up. After mutual pars at 17, the final pairing went to 18 tied at 14 under.

In a dramatic finish, Cantlay bogeyed after he was unable to get up-and-down from the right greenside bunker while Hadwin was able to make par from the back fringe with a skillful chip.

Hadwin, 29, had enjoyed a string of solid finishes throughout the season including a runner up at the CareerBuilder Challenge and was thrilled to get his first win which will qualify him for his first Masters in three weeks. “This is a fantastic feeling,” he said. “You’re never quite sure when you’re going to get the job done. I just went there today and stuck to what I do best, just hit some quality golf shots and really made the game super easy outside of hole No. 16. I feel a little fortunate after that hole to be sitting here, but I’ll certainly take it, and I can’t wait for everything that comes with this win.”

Hadwin also earned a spot in the upcoming WGC Match Play Championship with the win, but plans to go ahead with his planned wedding to Jessica Kippenberger instead. But a honeymoon to French Polynesia will be postponed to play in Augusta. The couple is looking for their first house, and when they do Valspar has offered to provide them with all the paint they need.

Hadwin is from Canada and he noted a tremendous amount of support from the fans of Tampa Bay. “There were a lot of Canadian flags out there today,” he said. “I’m thrilled to win on this great course, it’s firm and fast and the only reason the scores were relatively low this week was the lack of wind. It’s a fun course to play, with a wide range of shots. I look forward to playing it many times in the future.”

Hadwin’s winning total of 270 was the lowest for a Valspar Championship winner since Gary Woodland shot 269 in 2011. He is the fourth player to win his first PGA TOUR title on the Copperhead, although each of the other three (Carl Pettersson in 2005, Woodland in ’11 and Kevin Streelman in ’13) would win again.

He is the tournament’s eighth international champion (the 10th total time with K.J. Choi and Retief Goosen winning twice) and the first from Canada. A huge fan of baseball in general and the Toronto Blue Jays in particular, he was excited that his prospects were being widely discussed at the baseball team’s spring training base in Dunedin over the weekend. Hadwin is the 14th Canadian to win on the PGA TOUR with good friends Nick Taylor and MacKenzie Hughes having done so recently. The victory was Hadwin’s fifth in PGA TOUR-sponsored events with two on the Mackenzie Tour and two on the Web.com Tour.

COPPERHEAD BITES – The tournament enjoyed its largest crowds with an estimated attendance of 112,000 for the week. Saturday’s activities, including a concert by Toby Keith, resulted in the first sellout in Valspar Championship history…2016 champion Charl Schwartzel conducted a spirited defense of his title, closing with 67-68 on the weekend to finish in 6th place at -9…Tony Finau had the best round of the final day, shooting 7-under 64 and finishing 5th…Lee McCoy last year’s amateur sensation, who could not take his 4th place winnings in 2016, finished 65th and earned $13,167…It was the eighth time in nine tournaments that the Valspar Championship has been decided by one shot or in a playoff. The exception was Kevin Streelman’s two-shot win in 2013.

Valspar Visit St Pete Clearwater Lexus

 

PurdyMinwaxKrylon