Paul Casey Wins Valspar, Tiger Roars on the Copperhead PDF Print E-mail



Paul Casey celebrates his first PGA Tour win in nearly 9 years at Innisbrook.

Palm Harbor, Florida - Paul Casey entered Sunday five shots behind Canadian

Casey Connor (10 under par) and four behind 79 time PGA Tour winner and

crowd favorite Tiger Woods. Olympic Gold medalist Justin Rose and Brandt

Snedeker were also a shot back (at 8 under par) to start the final round of

the Valspar Championship.


Casey, who was facing a nearly 9 year drought from the winners circle was

totally brilliant with the flatstick Sunday - taking only 21 putts in round 4

(the best putting performance of his career). After firing a 6 under par 65

(tied for the lowest round all week) to post 10 under par in the clubhouse,

Casey had to watch for nearly an hour and a half as Woods and Patrick

Reed put up the best challenge.


Reed needed birdie to win at the last, but could only manage a mediocre

approach, and when his ball ended up in an awkward spot against the fringe,

he 3-putted for bogey (finishing a shot behind at -9). Tiger Woods who was

in neutral all day at even par thru 16 holes, faced a 43 foot downhill birdie

attempt at the par 3 seventeenth to get to within a stroke of Casey. When

the ball finally took the break and curled left into the center of the cup, the

crowd erupted and Woods marched to the eighteenth tee knowing a 3 would

get him into a playoff with Casey. A striped long iron off the tee reached the

fairway, finally the 14 time major champion was getting a taste of true Sunday

contention. The mid iron approach reached the green in regulation but left

Woods 39 feet for the conversion. When the putt came up short, Tiger tapped

in to finish a shot back at 9 under par (tied with Reed for second), but more

importantly he got a taste of being in the hunt after another week of progress.

With Bayhill next up for Woods, his Masters prep looks right on schedule.


Afterwards Paul Casey was getting teary eyed, "To take this long to get my

second victory on the PGA Tour it's emotional," Casey said. "I've worked so

hard, I'm happy for it. I lost a friend last Saturday, I played with a heavy

heart, maybe that's the difference."



Even though he came up just short of a win, Tiger reflected on the week

at Innisbrook thru his Twitter feed . . .





Sergio Garcia finished two shots back after a final round 65.