Valspar Championship next for PGA Tour
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Valspar Championship | Preview | 12 Mar 2014
With two World Golf Championships now behind them and just over a month to the first major of the year, the PGA Tour now moves to the other side of Florida and to Palm Harbor near Tampa for the Valspar Championship at the Inisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course.
A new name but the same tournament that has been played at Innisbrook Resort since 2000, the tournament sees Justin Rose as the only top ten player in the field although Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth are just outside that elite group and have great chances.
Rose has hardly set the world on fire in this event recording just one top ten in seven starts. Rose has made a slow start to the year and might yet need another start of two to find his best form.
Matt Kuchar on the other hand is in good form with seven top twenty finishes in his last eight starts. Kuchar has played this event well in his last few times to Palm Harbor and must be a contender at least.
Jordan Spieth finished 7th at his one and only start in this event and has been a regular contender in most events he has played this year.
Luke Donald won at this venue and although not yet at his peak this year he is not far from it. Donald has been 6th, 1st and 4th in his last three attempts in this tournament or its equivalent and the ingredients appear to be in place for a good week.
Webb Simpson has hardly put a foot wrong at Palm Harbor in recent years and has been solid if unspectacular this year. Like Donald, I expect Simpson to do well.
Jim Furyk has been very good in this event winning and finishing runner-up in two of his last four starts and played well in the other two. Despite an ordinary week at Doral last week Furyk might not be too far from winning form.
Marc Leishman heads the Australians in terms of world ranking but does not enjoy a good record at Palm Harbor.
John Senden has been twice runner-up in the tournament but he has struggled this season.
Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby and Steve Bowditch are the remaining Australians in the field but New Zealander and last week’s runner-up Danny Lee will tee it up.