Paul Casey Goes Back-to-Back!
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.