Casey successfully defends at Valspar Championship
It took Paul Casey nine years to capture his second PGA Tour title and now he has won a third trophy just 12 months on.
The Englishman became the first player to successfully defend the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort and takes home $1.2 million for a total of $3 million this season alone.
The 41-year-old went head-to-head with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson over the final round posting a final day 1-over 72 to win by a stroke with an eight-under par tally.
Johnson was never a threat, uncharacteristically failing to post a birdie in a 3-over 74 to end the tournament in a share of sixth place at 5-under.
It was fellow American Jason Kokak (71) along with former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen (69), who shared second place at 7-under.
Paul Casey (Credit: PGA Tour)
Twelve months ago, Casey had denied overwhelming crowd favourite Tiger Woods to capture his second PGA Tour title.
Now a year later and Casey has captured a third Tour win to become the first repeat champion in the 20-year history of the event as well as celebrating a 20th worldwide success.
Casey’s win will go some way towards making amends for his loss to Phil Mickelson last month at the rain-affected AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
WITB: Paul Casey
- Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
- Titleist Vokey Design SM7 Wedges (52, 56, 60º)
- Scotty Cameron Newport 350 SSS Prototype Putter
- Honma Tour World Forged TW-U Irons (3), Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro (4), Mizuno MP-5 (5-PW)
- TaylorMade M4 Driver (10.5º)
- TaylorMade M1 2017 Fairway (15º)
“It feels bloody good,” said Casey smiling broadly.
“It was a messy last round but this golf course is just so difficult as I did make some errors including two three-putts where the biggest things.”
“In my mind too, I was going up against the World No. 1 and I felt if I beat him I will probably win this (holding up the trophy) but it turned-out to be a very different scenario as Dustin struggled today.”
While Casey is now heading to Texas for this week’s WGC – Dell Technologies Match-Play, his focus is clearly on the Masters in just a few weeks’ time.
“This win is mega for me heading to Augusta,” he said.
“I feel good and I know I have got to play like that in going to the Masters. I drove the ball so well this week.”
“So, if I drive like I have this week I have a good chance at Augusta…you need someone like a Rory or Dustin not to play their best because I am not sure I can beat them when they are on their best game and while I am not as good as they are, I have a good chance.”
Matt Jones and Curtis Luck were the only Australians to make the cut with both players finishing in tie for 13th at 3-under.
John Senden, Jason Day, Rod Pampling and Cameron Davis all had the weekend off.