PALM HARBOR, FL – MARCH 10: Paul Casey of England looks over a putt on the 17th hole during the third round of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course on March 10, 2018 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
Paul Casey has waited nearly nine years for his second win on the PGA Tour, but when it came to the Valspar Championship it was memorable.
Casey, playing several groups in front of the leaders, fired a final-round 65 to nip Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods by one shot. With all the attention focused on Woods, Casey played flawlessly over the final 15 holes with six birdies against no bogeys, including three in a row on Nos. 11-13, a pair of kick-ins followed by a 21-footer at 13.
Casey’s putter was hot Sunday, and, in fact, for most of the week. It needed to be. On Sunday Casey hit just nine greens, totalling just 42 greens in regulation for the week. But on the 28 he missed, he carded just four bogeys and one double bogey as he used his Titleist Vokey wedges around the green to great effect. For the week Casey, an Englishman who played collegiate golf at Arizona State University ranked third in scrambling.
But it was his Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009 putter that was the star of the week, bailing him out time and again.
“It‘s really rewarding,” Casey told Golf Channel of his putting. “I made [a lot of the short ones] and I haven’t done that in a long time. On Sunday, Casey was 1.656 strokes gained/putting and .865 for the week, ranking 15th. The result was a memorable week at Innisbrook. Even if Tiger didn’t win.
What Paul Casey had in the bag at the Valspar Championship
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (Mitsubishi Diamana White LEX D+ 70), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 2017, 15 degrees
Hybrid: TaylorMade M3, 21 degrees
Irons (4): Mizuno MP-25; (5-PW): Mizuno MP-5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (52, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey prototype (60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009