Valspar Championship: Preview

2014 03 English

Innisbrook’s Copperhead course is the venue for this week’s stop on the PGA Tour, the Valspar Championship, where a strong field, including ten of the world’s top 30, will do battle for the title.

At 16/1, Harris English, above, is one of the bookies’ favourite to win what was, until this season, the Transitions Championship. The young American will be looking to continue his excellent start to the season, which sees him occupy fifth spot on the FedExCup standings. An exciting player with a penchant for the big occasion, don’t be surprised to see English at the business end of the leaderboard come Sunday.

Another American with a chance of victory at the Valspar Championship is Jason Dufner. Fresh off a top ten in the WGC-Cadillac Championship last week, the PGA champion can never be discounted.

The highest ranked player in the field is Justin Rose and, as a result, expectation demands that he play well. The Englishman hasn’t really contended in the past few events as he continues to feel his way back into things after injury but, with the Masters a month away, the US Open champion and world No.7 will be keen to find his form.
‘The Snake Pit’ is one of the toughest finishing stretches on tour.

Others to keep an eye out for include former world No.1 and 2012 champion Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, and former Open champion Darren Clarke, who is playing on a sponsor’s invite this week.

No player has ever successfully defended the Valspar Championship in its history and Kevin Streelman is the man charged with breaking that record this time around.

However, the signs don’t look promising - only three defending champions have made the top ten in their bid to defend their title.

As well as an excellent field, the eventual winner will have to overcome a challenging course that is best known for its testing final three holes. ‘The Snake Pit’, as they are affectionately titled, is one of the toughest finishing stretches on tour.

Valspar Championship: Watch it live

You can watch the action from the Valspar Championship live on Sky Sports 4 from 7pm this Thursday evening.

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