The PGA Tour returns to the Copperhead Course this week for another instalment of the Valspar Championship. Who will tame the Snake Pit?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Englishman Paul Casey shot eight-under-par 276 in 2019 to successfully defend his title, defeating Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen by one shot.
COURSE: The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort opened in 1974 and was designed by Larry Packard. The layout, which has hosted this event since 2000, is renowned for its challenging three-hole stretch from holes 16-18 dubbed the “Snake Pit”.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Two-time defending champ Paul Casey is looking to complete an unprecedented tournament hat-trick on the Copperhead Course this week.
The 43-year-old started the 2021 season in spectacular form, winning the Dubai Desert Classic posting four straight top-10s on the US Tour – including shares of fifth at both Pebble Beach and The Players – before recording some relatively average results at the WGC Match Play and the Masters.
Casey clearly enjoys the Copperhead Course and should take some beating.
RIGHT: Casey will be hoping to win this event for the third consecutive time. PHOTO: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images.
World No.7 Patrick Reed has finished runner-up here on two occasions (2015 & 2018) and returns to the Copperhead Course ranked second on Tour for Strokes Gained: Putting.
The 30-year-old Texan is already a winner in 2021 – having claimed the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January – and should arrive feeling refreshed after taking some time off following his T8th effort at Augusta.
Reed, who owns nine PGA Tour titles, isn’t the strongest of players tee to green, currently ranked well outside the top-100 for driving distance and greens in regulation. But he remains second on Tour for his birdie average (4.75) thanks to his deadly short game.
72-HOLE RECORD: Fijian legend Vijay Singh fired 18-under-par 266 in 2004 to defeat Tommy Armour III and Jesper Parnevik by five shots.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: John Senden (2014).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Cameron Davis and Cameron Percy.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 8am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 8am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 8am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 8am)
*AEST, check local guides