Valspar Championship. Paul Casey Wins.

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Paul Casey, England, wins the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course in Florida.

Paul Casey/ getty

Paul carded a final round -6 under par 65 to win the Valspar Championship with a -10 under par total;

“Probably not the most significant win of my career, but it’s certainly one of the most satisfying ones.”

“The quality of golf that I played. I know I made some errors on the round yesterday, I hit it in the water twice but as a whole I would say it’s one of the cleanest weeks I’ve ever had from kind of a golf course management point of view.”

“Your last win is always your best one because it’s the freshest.”

Tied in second place at -9 under were Patrick Reed, -3 under 68 today, and Tiger Woods, -1 under 71.

Tiger was happy with his progress, but a couple more putts would have changed things;

“I keep getting a little bit better and sharper.” 

“Sunday wasn’t quite as sharp as I would like to have had it, but I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament.”

“Couple putts here and there, would have been a different story.”

“I’m really looking forward to next week, I hadn’t played there in a couple years because of my back, and I wanted to play there a couple years ago.”

“I wanted to play one last time before Arnold Palmer moved on and unfortunately I just couldn’t play.”

Cory Conners, Canadadid not play well after leading for so long, nerves played a part in his +6 over par 77 final round;

“A great experience. Nice to get myself in the mix.”

“Came up short on a number of putts, couldn’t get the speed down.”

“Few of those would have fallen, might have relaxed me a little bit more.”

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Valspar Championship. Corey Conners Continues.

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Corey Conners of Canada continues to lead the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course in Florida.

Valspar Championship

Corey Conners / getty

Corey carded a moving day -3 under par 68 to keep his momentum going at the top of the Valspar Championship leaderboard with a -9 under par total;

“It was really cool. Came out and tried to have as much fun as possible.”

“I kind of knew what to expect out there with a lot of people and lot of people watching, but I felt comfortable.”

“I tried to get relaxed as early as possible and fortunately got off to a good start and kind of settled me down nicely.”

“Kept things pretty solid throughout the round.”

“Fun position to be in. Kind of what I work for and everybody works for out here.”

He has some serious company close behind in the form of Tiger Woods, -4 under 67 today, Justin Rose, England,-5 under 66, and Brandt Snedeker, -4 under 67, all of them just one back at -8 under par.

Tiger is all obviously all fired up after his great rival Phil Mickelson won last week. The best news for Corey is that he will not be paired up with Tiger for the final round, Justin Rose will be his partner, meaning the gallery will be a lot quieter. Tiger described the gallery today as;

“Loud. very, very loud.”

”I played myself right there in contention. It will be a fun Sunday.”

Brandt will play alongside Tiger, and knows it will be crazier tomorrow;

 “I was able to feed off a lot of energy today. That’s probably why I played so good.”

“Got me to focus real hard on every shot and did a good job of that today.”

“Do it again tomorrow, probably be crazier tomorrow.”

Justin holed a shot from 120 yards for Eagle, that really got him in the mood, and he putted really well;

“This ignited it for me. I was kind of getting a little frustrated, seeing the scores were decent.”

“I needed something to happen. I made that one.”

“I putted really, really well on the back nine. Every putt I had I thought would go in. Fun day.”

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Valspar Championship. Corey Conners Leads Half-Way.

 

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Corey Conners from Canada leads the Valspar Championship at the half-way point at the Innisbrook Copperhead Course in Florida.Conners leads after 36 holes

Corey / Getty

Corey carded a second round -2 under par 69 to lead the Valspar Championship after 36 holes, and will take  two shot advantage into the week-end, a very new experience for him;

“Really happy to be in the position I am and to be here, first of all.”

“Really excited. Kind of a new position for me, but what I work for and looking forward to a fun weekend. It will be a challenge but I feel like I’m up to it and feel good about my game.”

“Pretty cool. Hopefully I can be in a position where I get some followers Sunday as well. That would be cool.”

“It will be a fun experience, the nice thing is there’s a ton of Canadian fans. I think this is a popular winter destination for Canadians.”

“I’ve been feeling a lot of Canadian love out there and yeah, looking forward to more of that and I think it will be a lot of fun.”

Five players are then tied in second place at -4 under par, Paul Casey, England, -3 under 68 today, is joined by USA players, Ryan Palmer, -5 under 66, Kelly Kraft, -1 under 70,  Brandt Snedeker and Tiger Woods, who both signed for second rounds of -3 under 68.

Tiger spoke about his recovery progress, and how cold it was during his warm-up today;

“I was freezing out there, I was just trying to stay warm. I was hitting it all over the place.”

“My surgeon hadn’t told me I was fused. If I’m not fused, this is a totally different game.”

“Am I going to feel what I did for the last four, five years? Or am I going to be like this?”

“Could I have envisioned myself being here? No,”

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Valspar Championship. Rookie Corey Conners Leads.

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 PGA TOUR rookie Corey Conners, Canada, leads the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course in Florida.

Rookie Conners leads at Valspar

Corey Conners / getty

Corey shot a first round -4 under par 67 to lead the Valspar Championship by one shot on day one;

“I don’t overpower it, but everything is really solid.”

 “I definitely like the challenge and like golf courses that put a premium on the fairway and hitting the green.”

“It was a lot of tap-in pars and made some birdies.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par are, Whee Kim, South Korea, with Kelly Craft and Nick Watney from the USA.

Nick is trying to recover from a back injury, and feels he is playing better than his results;

“I feel like my results haven’t quite caught up to the way I’m playing. I feel like I’m playing pretty well.”

 “I got some breaks today, drove it in the trees on the sixth, I had a shot, holed a bunker shot.”

“Maybe I need to steal a few shots here and there and get some good things going.”

Sharing third spot at -2 under are, Russell Knox, Scotland, with Jimmy Walker and Keegan Bradley, both from the USA.

Tiger continued his comeback, with a -1 under 70, and is in the large group at T 8, which included, Justin Rose, England, Sergio Garcia, Spain, and Adam Scott, Australia.

Tiger said he is getting better;

“I’m getting a little better piece by piece.”

“This was a very good test of all the things I tried to hit.”

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Valspar Championship. Adam Hadwin Almost Home.

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CAN Adam Hadwin, from Canada, is almost home in the Valspar Championship, he will take a four shot lead into the final round tomorrow at Copperhead golf course in Florida.

Adam Hadwin shot a 59 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January where he finished runner-up. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Adam Hadwin / getty

Adam shot a bogey free third round -4 under par 67 to sit on top of the Valspar Championship leaderboard at -14 under par, and will take a very comfortable four shot lead into the final round tomorrow. He made a couple of long putts, especially the one on hole 15 from 55 feet;

“Three shots is much easier to come back from than four shots is.”

“That extra shot could be everything tomorrow. That was a big putt for me, I think, mentally going into tomorrow.”

“But the other side of things is that guys are going to have to shot a good score to catch you.”

 “To go bogey-free today, I mean, I’d love to do that again tomorrow. I think somebody would have to play an extremely good round of golf to catch me.”

“Make some pars and make guys come and get you.”

Patrick Cantlay shot the low round of the day, -5 under 66, to claim second place at -10 under par. Patrick is recovering from a bad back injury, and during his time out of golf, he saw his best friend killed in an auto accident;

“The back injury is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. But then my best friend dying far outweighs that. I don’t intertwine the two.”

“I’ve worked really hard to get back to where I am, and I’ve done a lot of good work. I’m happy to be here.”

“A few more low, highs and lows, gave me a little different perspective.”

“At the time things were rolling so good all the time, I guess I didn’t think they could go any other way. But life hit me in the face pretty quick.”

“So it’s really nice to be here playing, feeling good, and playing well.”

“It’s just shooting numbers, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a numbers game. My game has been good. I’ve been playing good, so it doesn’t really surprise me.”

In third place Jim Herman is hanging on at -9 under par, with another even par round of 71.

Valspar Championship. Jim Herman Shoots 62 to Lead.

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Jim Herman shoots 62 to lead the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, as darkness caused play to be suspended for the day.

Herman shoots 62, leads Valspar

Jim Herman / getty

Jim carded -9 under par 62 on the par 71 Copperhead Course in the opening round of the Valspar Championship;

“That was a fun round, I don’t think there’s many feelings better than shooting in the lower 60s on the PGA TOUR.”

Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson share second place at -7 under par, with first rounds of 64.

Russell made  more than 110 feet of putts, requiring only 24 today, and leads the field in strokes gained putting;

“I feel like I’m seeing the break well here.”

 “I feel like the greens are running really true, and what I’m seeing, that’s what the ball is doing.”

“I got more and more confident as the day went on.”

Henrik spoke about how important it was to play well here, with The Masters just four weeks away, and with his putter working well;

“I think it’s important, I know how important it was to get that win in Germany at the BMW International Open last year two weeks prior to The Open, and it gives you that confidence, so I’d love to, more than anything, of course, play well.”

“When the putter feels good and short game is in good shape, a lot of times I see it more as guaranteeing having a second shot into around the green or hit the green, even if it’s a longer club.”

“That’s kind of what I’ve done around here the previous two times, and it’s worked out fine.”

Valspar Championship. Bill Haas Ahead.

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Bill Haas is ahead after 54 holes of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course.

Haas grabs outright lead

Bill Haas / Getty Images

Bill is ahead in the Valspar Championship, shooting a third round -4 under par 67, to top the leaderboard at -8 under par, and will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow. Another -4 under will surely see him take the title.

Bill said it was his great putting that gave him confidence, along with some advice from dad Jay, including why not to grow a beard;

“My putter the first two days, I felt like I had about probably between six putts from 4 to 5 to 6 feet to save par and I’ve made almost all of them.”

 “That’s been the thing that’s really helped me this week. I’ve made a lot of par saves.”

“It’s almost like I’m trying to hit a lot of knock-down shots. All that does is speed my hands up a little bit and not let my body get out in front.”

“If it goes South, I can blame him, that’s always nice.”

“When I started shaving and playing golf he would always say, ‘Did Arnold ever have a beard? Did Jack ever have a beard? Did you lose your razor, Bill?’ I would get those a lot.”

Heavily bearded  Graham DeLaet of Canada Pristine approach leads to eagle

 is in second place at -7 under par, a -3 under par 68 helping him up the table, due mainly to carding an Eagle on the par five 14th hole. He has yet to win his first PGA Tour title, but thinks tomorrow will be the day;

“I think tomorrow is going to be the day.”

“Every time I’m in this position I say the politically correct things. I’m going to go and win this golf tournament tomorrow.” 

Charley Hoffman – 4 under 67 today and Ryan Moore -2 under 69 were three shots behind, at -5 under for the tournament.

Charles Howell III -1 under par 70 and Steve Stricker, sadly over par today, +1 carding 72, they are four shots back of the leader.

Defending champion, World #1 Jordan Spieth is at last in red figures, albeit six shots off the pace at -2 under, but he is there with a chance tomorrow;

“I’m still in this golf tournament, I’ll need something like seven under tomorrow which is feasible.”

“So, to think after the first round that I go Saturday night and be able to sleep with a chance to win the golf tournament, I’m very pleased with that.”