Top PGA stars led by World No.1 Dustin Johnson are back to business today at the Valspar Championship in an event that has attracted four of the eight top ranked players in the world.
Defending champion World No. 20 Paul Casey will be seeking to win the tournament for a third successive time to join the “PGA Three-peat Club” of Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and Stuart Appleby, the only players to win a PGA Tour tournament three or more times in a row over the last 40 years. Woods has achieved the feat six times while Appleby won the Sentry Tournament of Champions from 2004-06. Stricker was the hero at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.
“It would just be extremely cool, flat out. It’s elite company. I’ve been in the game long enough, but there’s numerous things that I still want to win and wish I had won, so just to add something to the fabric of everything would be very, very cool,” Casey said.
Famed for its notorious small greens averaging just over 5,800 square feet, the Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida favours golfers who are stronger off the tee and with a sharp short game. During the 2019 tournament, the average scoring was 71.981, the highest among all par 71s in non-majors that season. The event was not held in 2020 following the outbreak of coronavirus. Higher scores have been predicted again this week, as moderate winds multiply the challenge posed by the primary rough and the firm elevated greens.
Since 2003, the cut has always been at over par save for two occasions- 2011 and 2012- when it dropped to even par. The highlight of the action is the dreaded “Snake Pit” comprising the tough closing three holes playing par 4-3-4.
“This is for me one of the best tournaments on Tour. It’s a great golf course, great people. It’s exciting that we’re finally here and I feel like the pressure is not on me. We’ve got Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and guys like that playing this week, and the focus is going to be on them, so I feel like I’m kind of in a sweet spot and raring to go,” said Casey.
The Valspar Championship has a prize purse of $6.9million. Other top players in contention include Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson.
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Valspar Championship broadcast details
All times CAT
Thursday 29 April
20:00: Day 1 – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf
Friday 30 April
20:00: Day 2 – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf
Saturday 1 May
19:00: Day 3 – LIVE on SuperSport Golf
21:30: Day 3 – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf
Sunday 2 May19:00: Day 4 – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf