Thursday, March 15News That Matters

2018 Valspar leaderboard, grades: Tiger Woods thrills but falls just short of win

2018 Valspar leaderboard, grades: Tiger Woods thrills however falls simply wanting win

Paul Casey gained the 2018 Valspar Championship with a 6-under 65 within the closing spherical to complete at 10 below on the week. He narrowly beat Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed by one stroke every regardless of Woods’ loopy 44-foot birdie putt on the 17th gap on Sunday that put him in rivalry for his first PGA Tour victory since 2013.

Casey performed the final 15 holes in 6 below to seize his first victory for the reason that 2009 Shell Houston Open. He needed to wait till the final minute for affirmation, although. Woods, who shot 1-under 70 missed a 38-foot birdie on the 72nd gap, and Casey took the trophy after ending up an hour earlier than Woods. It may not have been the result most individuals watching and attending have been hoping to see, however Casey was actually emotional and delighted by the victory.

“[Tiger] made it look simple for such a very long time, and it isn’t,” Casey advised Steve Sands of NBC. “I’ve gained a couple of occasions in Europe, however to take this on and get my second victory on the PGA Tour, it is emotional. I’ve labored so arduous. I am so blissful for it.”

The runner-up end was Woods’ greatest in practically 5 years.

A leaky putter on the ultimate day resulted in Tiger ending No. 58 in strokes gained placing in Spherical four (out of 78). And that was with that 44-foot birdie putt on the 71st gap. After making birdie on the very first gap, Woods made bogey on the par-Three 4th and parred the whole lot else till that bonkers 17th.

Nonetheless, the week was a wild success for Woods, who who shot his two greatest scores of the season and simply had his greatest end (he’d beforehand completed 12th on the Honda Traditional). His recreation appears to be like astonishingly good 4 tournaments into his comeback with the Arnold Palmer Invitational subsequent week and the Masters on deck in three weeks.

“I felt very comfy truly,” Woods advised NBC. “I did not really feel that sharp with my iron recreation [on Sunday]. I performed very conservatively into the greens as a result of I simply wasn’t as sharp as I used to be yesterday. [I was] attempting to hopefully get a pair good numbers and hearth at a couple of flags. A type of days the place I stored getting a half membership.”

Woods completed 52nd within the discipline in proximity to the opening on Sunday and gave himself simply two appears to be like at birdie below 15 toes. That is not an ideal recipe for closing out a event, particularly when anyone pretty much as good as Casey drops a 65.

“I’ve gotten somewhat bit higher than what I used to be a pair weeks in the past at Honda,” mentioned Woods. “I maintain getting just a bit bit higher and somewhat bit sharper. Immediately wasn’t fairly as sharp as I’d have preferred to have had it, however I had a superb shot at profitable this golf event. Couple putts right here and there, may have been a distinct story.”

The story was fascinating because it was. Casey’s first win in practically a decade. Woods vying for PGA Tour victory No. 80. A non-major in the midst of March changed into a golf thrill trip. The one disgrace is that we now have a lot time till the Masters. Grades for each: A+

Patrick Reed (T2): What a day for golfers sporting crimson and black on Sunday. I am nonetheless not completely certain Reed did not assume the plenty have been there to observe him attempt to burn down this course (which he practically did). Alas, a two-putt on the ultimate gap would have gotten him right into a playoff, and he did not even come shut. The T2 is definitely his greatest end of the yr and his first high 10 of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season. Grade: A

Sergio Garcia: (4th): Garcia shot a round-of-the-week 65 on Sunday and appeared like he was going to legitimately backdoor his method right into a playoff or higher for a lot of the day. Garcia completed first within the discipline in strokes gained tee to inexperienced and 71st in placing (of the 78 gamers who made the reduce). So, you understand, a standard Sergio expertise. A win for him on Sunday would have been a real stunner. Regardless, his title protection at Augusta Nationwide is shaping up properly with high 10s at each the WGC-Mexico Championship and this occasion. Grade: A

Rory McIlroy (MC): McIlroy has now performed 13 rounds on the PGA Tour this yr, and solely three of these have been within the 60s. He shot 74-73 this week, which marks his fifth and sixth consecutive rounds over par on the yr. Granted, these have come at troublesome programs, however this is not William McGirt we’re speaking about. It is Rory McIlroy. The Ulsterman conceded there are a number of points he must work out earlier than subsequent week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and (possibly particularly) subsequent month’s Masters.

“I imply it is early within the season,” mentioned McIlroy. “It is a lengthy yr. I’ve proven indicators of excellent play this yr already, and I simply have to see a few good scores. I believe that can possibly give me somewhat enhance going ahead. So it is good that I am enjoying once more subsequent week [at the Arnold Palmer Invitational] and have an opportunity to attempt to do this.”

McIlroy didn’t crack the highest 100 in strokes gained placing on both of the day days he performed at Innisbrook. Grade: F

Jordan Spieth (MC): Issues weren’t significantly better for Spieth, who missed the 19th reduce of his profession (two greater than Tiger Woods, by the best way). His battle early within the season has additionally been with the putter, however he is aware of when it turns, it may flip.

“These previous two weeks I took a step again, sadly, is the sensation proper now,” mentioned Spieth. “I do not need it to be streaky, I might slightly or not it’s constant. The excellent news is my confidence can flip into a reasonably elite stage as soon as that form of clicks, and I’ve simply been looking for that. That is all it’s. Did not actually have any follow final week. I wasn’t capable of nail in what I had at Riviera until I putted even worse. There’s solely a lot you are able to do indoors, 37 and rain on a regular basis. Not that that’s a lot of an excuse as a result of we get that quite a lot of years.”

This was his fifth event in seven tries with a adverse strokes gained placing quantity.  Grade: F

For highlights and extra evaluation of Sunday’s closing spherical, take a look at the appliance under.

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