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Five Players to Watch: Valspar Championship

Jason Dufner is coming off a good week at Doral. Photo Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

So far on the PGA Tour’s Florida swing, players have faced the Bear Trap at PGA National and the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.

That can mean only one thing:

It’s time for the Snakepit at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook, site of this week’s Valspar Championship. This is where Jordan Spieth got it rolling last year, beating Sean O’Hair and Patrick Reed in a playoff.

Spieth’s game has had a dull edge recently but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the man to beat this week, topping our list of five players to watch:

5. Webb Simpson: He likes the Copperhead course and has a handful of top-10 finishes there to prove it. He’s taken a few weeks off but he’s fresh and ready to go.

4. KJ Choi: He’s won twice at Innisbrook and his game is in good shape. He finished second at the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for fifth at the Northern Trust Open, his last start. He still can get it done.

3. Jason Dufner: He’s still as laconic as ever but his game has come back. He didn’t do much after winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January until he tied for 11th at Doral. When he gets going, he usually plays well for a while.

2. Danny Willett: If he wasn’t the first guy you recognized in the Sunday shootout at Doral, you know more about him now. Get accustomed to seeing his name more often. He’s really good. Even with that wet tee shot on the 72nd hole on Sunday, he was just a swing or two from winning.

1. Jordan Spieth: Can you believe it’s been eight weeks since Spieth has won a tournament? Something must be seriously wrong.

Not really. It’s just golf. Spieth is fine and could tidy up the loose ends in his scoring at any time. The Masters is getting close. So is Spieth.


Players in the field (5) listed in the top 20 of the OWGR:

No. 1 Spieth

No. 7 Henrik Stenson

No. 10 Patrick Reed

No. 11 Willett

No. 12 Branden Grace


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