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Monday, March 25, 2019

The Limerick Summary: 2019 Valspar Championship

Winner: Paul Casey

Around the wider world of golf: Scott Hend won the Maybank Championship on the ET; Vince Covello won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Tour; and Jin Young Ko won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on the LPGA.

Paul Casey with his second Valspar trophy

Here's my Tuesday Twofers update: I picked Tommy Fleetwood (DNP) to win and Dustin Johnson (T6) to Top10. About par for the course for me. My record for 2019 so far looks like this:
  • Winners: 2 for 12
  • Place well (Top10): 8 for 12 (4 Top5 finish, 4 more Top10s)
  • Overall Top10s: 14 of 24 (6 Top5s, 8 more Top10s)
Unfortunately, I didn't get the memo that Fleetwood (along with a few other players) withdrew from this event right after THE PLAYERS. It's really hard to pick winners when your picks aren't even playing! Still, DJ gave me another Top10 so I won't complain too much.

At any rate, I wouldn't have picked Paul Casey to win. It's not because I don't like his game -- many of you will remember me picking him over and over at majors over the last few years -- but simply because nobody has successfully defended at the Valspar.

Turns out all the defending champ needed was a little help from the weather and the mental strength to avoid putting too much pressure on himself. (It didn't hurt that DJ didn't make a single birdie on Sunday, but that's just the way golf is sometimes.) I mean, he shot +1 for the day and still won by a single shot -- the same as the lead he held after the third round.

Yeah. Some days it's all about survival... and Paul did it when it counted.

Becoming the first back-to-back winner at Innisbrook already seems to be benefitting Paul. He seemed at ease with himself on the course Sunday, even before the win, and his confidence after the round was hard to miss. Now, with a new Limerick Summary in his back pocket and another trip to Augusta just around the corner, you could do worse that make him a favorite going forward.

But one step at a time. Here's your new Limerick Summary, Paul. Congrats!
A first-ever back-to-back win
As Casey wins Valspar again—
And not just for Paul,
It’s the first time for all
The past winners. The drought finally ends!
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