Valspar Championship Preview, TV Times

Paul Casey defends the title at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida

Paul Casey defends Valspar Championship
Paul Casey defends Valspar Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA Tour remains in Florida this week for the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. Paul Casey is the defending champion.

Valspar Championship Preview, TV Times

After The Players Championship last week, the PGA Tour stays in Florida for the Valspar Championship. Paul Casey defends the title against a field including Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia.

This tournament began life in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Classic. It’s also been known as the Chrysler Championship, the PODS Championship, the Transitions Championship and the Tampa Bay Championship. Four years ago, Valspar (a global provider of paints and industrial coatings) took over as title sponsor in a four-year agreement.

Over the seasons, the event has seen some notable champions: K.J. Choi, Retief Goosen, Mark Calcavecchia, Luke Donald and Jordan Spieth have all won here. In 2016 Charl Schwartzel won for the first time in the U.S. since his 2011 Masters victory and Canada’s Adam Hadwin won in 2017. Last season, England’s Paul Casey took the title, finishing one-stroke ahead of Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods.

Designed by Larry Packard and opened in 1974, the Copperhead course at Innisbrook has played host to a number of PGA Tour events through the years. In 1999 the layout was revamped to bring it in line with the modern game. The redesign was completed just in time for the 1999 JCPenney Classic, an event won by John Daly and Laura Davies.

Unusually for a West Coast Florida course, the track features some fairly significant changes in elevation – up to 80 feet. It has traditionally been one of the tougher courses visited by the PGA Tour.

The weather forecast is looking good with dry and pleasant conditions predicted. Winds could be fresh but not too testing.

Venue: Copperhead Course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, Florida Date: Mar 21-24 Course stats: par 71, 7,340 yards Purse: $6,700,000 Defending champion: Paul Casey (-10)

How to watch the Valspar Championship

TV Coverage: Thursday 21 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm, Sky Sports Main Event from 10pm; Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 12.45pm Friday 22 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm; Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 12.45pm Saturday 23 – Sky Sports Golf from 6pm Sunday 24 – Sky Sports Golf from 6pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.45pm

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Valspar Championship?

BUY NOW: Now TV Sky Sports Pass – £8.99 for a day, £14.99 for a week or £33.99 for a month

Players to watch:

Jason Day – Seems to be showing signs of returning to top form. He was tied eighth last week at Sawgrass.

Patrick Reed – Runner-up last year, Reed was also second in this event back in 2015. He’s made 15 straight cuts coming into this event.

Sergio Garcia – Also likes the course at Innisbrook, Sergio finished top-five last year and has finished in the top-20 on his last four Valspar outings.

The testing 16th at Innisbrook

The testing 16th at Innisbrook

Key hole: 16th. This 460-yard par-4 has ranked as the toughest hole on the course in each of the tournaments since 2010. Water is a factor all down the right-hand side. The last three holes at Copperhead are known as “The Snake Pit.” Last year it was the fourth hardest closing three holes on the PGA Tour.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?