Valspar Championship Preview
The Valspar Championship is the final test of the “Florida Swing” of the 2023 PGA Tour season.
After two designated events in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, most of the stars are sitting this one out.
Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Matt Fitzpatrick headline the field playing at the Copperhead Course which is a part of the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Sam Burns has won this tournament back-to-back years and is looking for a three-peat. The four-time PGA Tour winner is coming off a missed cut at the AP Invitational and a T-35 at the Players so he would have to be on his game in order to take home the trophy once again.
Weather conditions are always a factor, especially when playing in Florida. There could be some rainy conditions around the third round which could drastically change how the course plays.
Additionally, the wind will be gusting up to 29 miles per hour throughout the week. The players will definitely have to be cautious of shot selections into greens depending on how the wind constantly shifts.
Thursday, however, is projected to be the least windy, so players might be able to take advantage and be slightly more aggressive at times.
The course itself is tricky around the greens considering the number of bunkers, so those second shots will be pivotal.
If players find themselves in the bunker, which is likely, depending on pin locations, it might be difficult to get up and down for par.
Shots gained around the green will be critical to whoever walks away after 72 holes (if there isn’t a playoff) with the win.
Jordan Spieth has typically done well in the weeks leading up to the masters. If he can seal the deal, it will require him to have a hot putter and drain putts.
Last week at the Players, Spieth had a strong moving day shooting six under par. His second round of three over was costly at his chances so that six under number was not enough to put him in strong chances of contention.
If he can post two good numbers on Thursday and Friday that leave him way ahead of the cutline, and follow that with a low Saturday score, Spieth is a player to watch out for down the stretch.
Yet because most of the starts are taking the week off, the door is wide open for the players still trying to make themselves known.
Justin Suh is a player who could have a strong week considering he’s had two top-ten finishes in the Honda Classic and Players.
Regardless, the anticipation is just continuing to build now that the Masters is just about three weeks away.
Amanda Vogt is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email her at email@example.com
About the Contributors
Amanda Vogt is a freshman broadcast journalism major at Penn State University. She has already gotten involved in several Bellisario organizations. She is a reporter for the Daily Collegian on the women’s soccer beat. In CommRadio, Amanda is in the sports department and loves to cover the NFL and talk everything sports! In addition, she is apart of Penn State Sports Night and those segments can be found on its Youtube channel. Amanda is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
Follow her on twitter @amandav_3