THE PGA Tour returns to US soil after a superb finish to the WGC-Mexico Championship where my selection Phil Mickelson overcame another pick Justin Thomas at the first extra hole.
There was some brilliant golf on display especially Justin’s eagle from 110 yards at his 72nd hole to give him a two-shot lead. Big Phil managed to grind him down with birdies at the 15th and 16th before winning at the first extra hole.
The Copperhead Course, Florida, is the venue for this week’s Valspar Championship and with the Masters not too far off there is a good field. Henrik Stenson returns to tournament golf after a T60 in Malaysia a month ago and joins the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Wooods and Justin Rose.
- Copperhead Course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbour, Florida: 7340 yards, Par 71.
Defending champion Hadwin has been playing well recently with a T6 at the Genesis Open and followed that with a T9 last week in Mexico. According to Charl Schwartzel the more experience you have on this course the better.
Hadwin has played here three times and the first two were forgettable, a 71 followed by a missed cut, but he more than made up for it last year when winning.
Had a mixed year last year but looks on form coming into this one and will be hoping to add to his one PGA Tour.
- Driving Accuracy: 64.57% (44th), GIR: 69.60% (45th), Strokes Gained: Putting: 0.027 (104th).
Stenson has good form at Copperhead (4-11-7) in his three appearances here. The season started off well for the Swede with a T2 at the WGC-HSBC Championship, 8th in the Abu Dhabi and a T6 in the Dubai Desert Classic before an uncharacteristic T60 at the Maybank in Malaysia. He normally comes back quickly after time away from the course and with just having a month off hopefully he hits the ground running.
- Driving Accuracy: 73.70% (3rd), GIR: 73.3% (4th), Strokes Gained Putting: 0.667.