Casey makes history with Valspar defence

Golf News

Paul Casey successfully defended his Valspar Championship title with a one-shot victory. Joe Hughes wraps up the action

Valspar Championship report: What happened at the Innisbrook Resort?

Paul Casey became the first man in Valspar Championship history to lift the trophy in consecutive years.

A final-round of 72 was enough to seal the win on a Sunday where the Copperhead Course was playing its toughest.

None of the leaders really made much progress in terms of scoring and it was a case of making pars and trying to avoid bogeys, although no players to go bogey-free in round four.

Final leaderboard

Casey held the lead heading into the last day and played some solid golf when it mattered to ensure he stayed just a step ahead of the chasing pack.

Jason Kokrak came closest to matching Casey’s final target of 8-under-par, but his bogey at 18, where he missed an eight-foot par putt, dropped him back into a tie for 2nd with Louis Oosthuizen.

For Casey though, it’s all shaping up nicely for the Masters. “If I drive it as well as I did this week then I’ve got a chance,” the Englishman said of his Augusta hopes. “But if Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are on top of their game I’ve got no chance.”

Valspar Championship report: Talking points

At this week’s event, players were given the choice of the name that would feature on their caddie’s bibs.

It’s a nice idea and led to some interesting labels, some more creative than others.

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Robert Garrigus was not in action at this week’s Valspar Championship, but was handed a three-month suspension from the tour.

The American had tested positive for marijuana, which is prohibited under the PGA Tour guidelines.

He swiftly issued a statement on Twitter explaining the situation and it was a brutally honest and open assessment.

It’s never nice to see people struggling with addiction and I’m sure everyone will join us in wishing Robert a successful recovery receiving any help that he needs.

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Patrick Reed’s form over the past couple of weeks hasn’t exactly been what we’ve come to expect from the reigning Masters Champion.

This week he missed the cut at the Valspar Championship with rounds of 77 and 75 but this may not have been a huge negative as he brought in golf coach David Leadbetter to help him with some range work whilst he was in town.

In fact, it was Reed’s wife Justine who reached out to Leadbetter following the American’s poor first round.

The two met prior to Friday’s round and once again on Saturday afternoon.

The World No. 16 was keen to point out that this was just a nice opportunity to lean on the expertise of one of the best in the game and won’t affect his relationship with Kevin Kirk, his current coach.

We’ll soon see whether this work has paid off when he heads back to Augusta in less than three weeks’ time in a bid to defend his Masters title…

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