We saw another great finish to a tournament this past weekend as Rory was “finally” able to get it done on Sunday. The leaderboard at THE PLAYERS was jam packed late Sunday and provided a very exciting finish. Hopefully we can get the same type of drama this week at the Valspar Championship. This is the final week of the Florida swing before the Tour heads to Texas. There’s only 3 more tournaments before the Masters so guys are really stepping up their preparation. We should see a very difficult test for the players this week as Copperhead loves to show its venom. Let’s take a closer look at the 2019 Valspar Championship.
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The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort has been the tournament host since 2000. Located in Palm Harbor, FL this course is a Par 71 that will play 7,340 yards. Although Copperhead is a Par 71 it has a different layout than most Par 71 courses. Copperhead will challenge the players with five long Par 3’s, nine Par 4’s and four Par 5’s. Copperhead is known for being very difficult and played as the 6th (out of 51) most difficult track on the Tour last season. Water comes in to play on 8 holes and last year the course played almost a full stroke over Par. The average cut line here is +3 while the average winning score is -9.
The greens here are very similar to what the players saw last week at TPC Sawgrass. They are slightly larger this week but still smaller than the Tour average. TifEagle Bermuda grass overseeded with Poa is the same surface as last week. They should also run slightly slower than last week at around 11.5 on the stimp meter.
Although the course is fairly long there are not many opportunities to hit driver off the tee. Well placed fairway bunkers (26 of them) and sharp doglegs will force players to club down. The tree lined fairways average about 26 yards wide but get increasingly more narrow the farther down you go. As you can see below there are plenty off trees that can cause issues if a tee shot wanders too far off the fairway. The fairways and rough are Celebration Bermuda grass that is overseeded with Rye grass. The rough is expected to be around 3 inches long this week which is a little longer than years past. Copperhead is truly a second shot golf course where players will need great course management in order to contend.