Familiar Name Shares The Lead!

23 Mar

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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.

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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.

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