The Snake Pit
The tour heads to Tampa for the 2016 Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course. The course has ranked within the Tour’s 10 most difficult non-major setups the past 3 years and requires patience and precise shots. “The Snake Pit” is Copperhead’s formidable closing stretch of holes (16-18) that lies ready to bite any loose shots down the stretch.
Last year’s tournament served as the springboard for Jordan Spieth’s historic run after he captured the event in a 3-man playoff over Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair. It was Spieth’s 2nd career PGA Tour win and his 1st of 6 in 2015. Spieth won the playoff in walk-off fashion, draining this 20 foot birdie putt...
This year’s field is strong with Spieth defending his championship along with fellow top 15 players Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett and Brendan Grace.
Hardboiled picks to click
Stud: Jason Dufner
DraftKings Salary: $9,400
Dufner has had a great start to 2016 winning the CareerBuilder Challenge and last week’s T11th finish at Doral. Dufner is known as one of the best ball-strikers on tour, has gone 7 for 7 in cuts made at the Valspar and hasn’t finished worse than t28th in his past 5 appearances.
Value: K.J. Choi
DraftKings Salary: $8,800
The wily veteran is a 2-time champion at Innisbrook and contended late on Sunday at both Riviera and Pebble earlier this year, finishing 5th and 2nd respectively. Choi is the leading money-winner of all time at Innisbrook and a good value for the week at $8,800.
Sleeper: Justin Leonard
DraftKings Salary: $6,100
Leonard came out of hibernation at Riviera sporting a new beard and a revitalized golf game where he finished 16th. The former British Open Champion has a good track record navigating the Snake Pit, finishing in the top 30 in 3 of his last 5 starts at Innisbrook (including a 4th place finish in 2013).
A million-dollar swing
On Monday, Rickie Fowler may have made his swing of the season at Ernie Els’ annual pro-am outing for autism research. The event has a 19th hole competition for a $1 million donation for any hole-in-one made. Fowler, who had already changed out of his golf shoes, used Luke Donald’s pitching wedge to sink the 113-yard shot and earn $1 million for autism research (donated by SAP and Ketel One, who will be cashing in on a hefty insurance policy).
The Mechanic heads to Thailand
According to an excellent marketing ploy, Miguel Angel Jimenez joins the European Tour in Thailand this week for the True Thailand Classic. With many stars still in America following last week’s WGC event, this week’s field includes the aforementioned Jimenez, budding star Thomas Pieters and Thongchai Jaidee.
Countdown to Augusta
As part of our coverage of the 2016 Masters, we will take an in-depth look at a different contender every Monday and Wednesday.
Contender: Justin Rose
Recent Masters Play: t2nd (2015), t14th (2014), t25 (2013)
College golf roundup
The spring season is in full swing with 4 top-notch events this week. Little-known Troy University was able to beat out top 5
A few lucky teams got to spend the week at Bandon Dunes for the Bandon Dunes Championship, which saw top 10-ranked Clemson run away with the win by 15 shots over Washington.
South Carolina grabbed their first victory of 2016 at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Open.
Looking for a distraction at work? The Southern Highlands Collegiate wraps
This week’s exercise comes from our friends at