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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Twofer Tuesday: Valspar Championship

This week, Twofer Tuesday moves along the Florida Swing to the Valspar Championship, where -- at the time of this writing -- 87 of the 144 field played in THE PLAYERS last week.

Defending champ Paul Casey with Valspar trohy

The course? The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, a 7340-yard par-71 layout with tight driving holes and a noticeable elevation change from TPC Sawgrass. Probably no surprises in the weather -- dry and mostly sunny, although I won't be surprised if the Snake Pit sees a little wind. It usually does.

The defending champ? Paul Casey, who broke a nine-year PGA Tour win drought by beating Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed. Casey posted early and had to watch both players come down the stretch... and come up one shot short.

This year's Twofer Tuesday picks? Here they are:
  • My Top10 pick is Dustin Johnson. DJ hasn't played the Copperhead since 2010 but he's definitely playing well, having two worldwide wins since 2019 started and coming off his first-ever Top10 at THE PLAYERS. I admit that this was a tough pick for me; I can't help but feel that Jim Furyk is on the cusp of a win, and while the Copperhead may seem a bit long for him, its tight tree-lined fairways are custom-made for such an accurate player. (He did win here in 2010.) But I'm guessing that solo second last week took something out of him while DJ is probably on a high.
  • Ironically, my pick to win is Tommy Fleetwood. I say ironically because Tommy has been a bit wild with the driver over the last couple of weeks -- it cost him wins at both of his last events -- and the Copperhead is notoriously unforgiving off the tee. (It certainly bit Tiger last year!) But Tommy's struggles seem to be pressure-related and, after a couple weeks in that pressure cooker, I think he may surprise everybody. With that short game of his, he doesn't have to be perfect... just playable.
GC's coverage begins at 2pm ET on Thursday, while PGA TOUR LIVE's streaming coverage starts at 7:45am ET. The Valspar has tended to give us surprise winners -- I would say that in the last decade only Jordan Spieth's 2015 victory might have been predicted -- so this week will likely follow suit. That should make for good TV!

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