Innisbrook Resort Hosts Valspar Championship March 16-19
The fourth and last stop on the PGA Tour’s “Florida Swing” is the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, just outside Tampa.
Despite not being designated as an “elevated (prize money and points) event,” the field is quite impressive and includes defending two-time champ Sam Burns, who is ranked No. 14 by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
“There’s something I love about that place,” Burns said of the Copperhead Course at media day held Feb 22. “I look forward to coming back every year.”
Joining Burns this year are a number of Official World Golf Ranking players, including four of the top 15.
Justin Thomas (#9 OWGR) returns after a 2022 finish that found him one shot out of a playoff. He has called the Copperhead Course one of his favorites on the PGA TOUR and has four top-20 finishes in five career starts at the event.
He will be joined at The Valspar by friend Jordan Spieth (#15 OWGR), the 2015 Valspar champion and owner of three majors, including the 2015 FEDEX CUP.
“Jordan, J.T. and Sam are three of the best American players in the world. They all have had exceptional results at the Valspar Championship in the past, and we are thrilled they are rejoining us on the Copperhead this year,” said Tournament Director Tracy West.
Matt Fitzpatrick (#12 OWGR) and reigning U.S. Open Champion, Justin Rose (#37 OWGR), and Luke Donald – three of Great Britain’s top professional golfers will also be teeing it up at the Valspar Championship.
Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open Champion (Winged Foot), has had a distinguished career, including the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2018 FedEx Cup title.
Luke Donald, captain of the 2023 European Ryder Cup team, has been an outstanding performer at the Valspar Championship, including winning the title in 2012. Last year, he posted his 6th top-20 finish, one off the tournament record.
Other Top 50 OWGR players include No. 20 Keegan Bradley, No. 26 Tommy Fleetwood, No. 27 Brian Harman, No. 41 K.H. Lee, and No. 45 Kevin Kisner.
Salute to Rondé Barber
Rondé Barber, the General Chair of the Valspar Championship, was recently elected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Barber and the rest of the Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in early August.
The Tampa Bay area sports fans will have a chance to salute Barber at the upcoming Valspar Championship this Thursday, March 16. Tournament patrons that day are encouraged to show their support by wearing Barber No. 20 jerseys and other Tampa Bay Buccaneers gear. The first 5,000 patrons will receive a special commemorative item, and there will be additional acknowledgments on the course of his achievements.
“We are so grateful for the tremendous involvement Rondé has given us as a volunteer in the last several years,” says Tournament Director Tracy West. “As a player, he was known for his complete dedication to his craft with the commitment and endurance to play 224 consecutive games, a record for an NFL defensive back. With the Copperheads, he has shown a similar zeal, immersing himself in the culture of professional golf, absorbing the business and operations of the tournament and serving as a prime recruiter for players, Copperheads and tournament partners. We are ecstatic to have this opportunity to celebrate his selection into the NFL’s most prestigious club and to thank him for all that he has meant to the Tampa Bay community.”
If 4 Days of Fantastic Golf were not enough, the Most Colorful PGA Tour Tournament will feature country music superstar Darius Rucker at the 7th edition of Valspar LIVE presented by Chick-fil-A Saturday, March 18.
For more information and tickets, please visit; valsparchampionship.com