This week the PGA Tour continues its Florida swing with a trip to Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club to take on the Copperhead Course in the event formerly known by many names due to it often-changing sponsorship.
Last year it was the Transitions Championship, and this year it’s the Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank. Copperhead has hosted an event every year since 2000 except for 2001 when it was canceled due to the 9/11 attacks. It moved from October to March and has been a fixture in its current spot for the last six years. Copperhead and its “snake pit” have lacked a little bite lately so expect low scores this weekend on the par-71 course.
Last week my entry was surely snakebit as whoever I had in my lineup seemed to struggle as my entry slid down the leaderboard and got passed by all the Tiger-ites who had Woods to slay the Monster last week. Congrats to “Foot-Wedge” who had three top three finishers and finished even left Adam Scott on his bench but still managed to finish with an impressive 245 points. He passed my entry as I slid to fifth in the season standings with all of us still trailing Eagle’s Nestin the overall standings.
Hopefully I can regain my form like Rory seemed to on Sunday with these picks in the Tampa Bay Championship:
Sergio Garcia- Garcia has been playing well racking up three top 20 finishes in his first three events of this season extending his streak of top-25 finishes to 12. He’s also finished in the top 20 his last two appearances in this event making him too good to pass up on a thinner A-list this week.
Michael Thompson- Thompson isn’t on my roster because he shares a name with my son although that’s pretty cool. Thompson won the Honda Classic and followed that with a t8 last week. His putter is red-hot and he could easily be on the leaderboard once again come Sunday.
Webb Simpson- Simpson has been in the top 10 in each of the last three events at Copperhead. He also finished t20 last week at the Cadillac. Simpson hasn’t had a win yet this season, but was t6 at the Northern Trust and made the elite eight in the Match Play Championship before last week’s event. Simpson should be on the leaderboard again on Sunday and I could easily see him getting the win in this one.
Luke Donald: Donald is the defneding champ but struggled a bit last week especially during a second-round 76 ultimately finishing t43 in the limited field event. He was playing better before that with a t16 in his other stateside stroke play event, the Northern Trust Open. He knows the course and has the game to win here, so don’t discount him solely based on last week’s struggles which were mostly with his putter.
Jim Furyk: Furyk has owned Copperhead in the past few seasons. He won this event in 2010, finished just out of the top 10 in 2011, and then was in the playoff last year before losing to Luke Donald. He’s coming off a t35 last week and a pair of top 20’s prier to that. He hasn’t played many events this year, but has shown enough form to get himself a spot on my roster this week.
Jimmy Walker: Walker has a pair of top 5’s in his last four tournaments and carded a top 20 in the 2010 version of this event and made the cut last year. He’s a bit of a flier in this spot, but I think his recent form merits taking a shot on him.
Adam Scott: Scott got everyone’s attention with an eye-popping 64 to close last week’s tournament at the Blue Monster. He finished t3 giving him a pair of top ten’s in his last two stroke play events. He hasn’t played this event since 2010 when he finished an unspectacular t28 after missing the cut in two of his first three attempts at Innisbrook. Still, his current form outweighs his sketchy course track record.
Jason Day: Going all-Aussie on my C-list picks, Day is a player I expect to emerge this season and he did finish in the top 20 last year at Copperhead. Last week’s t33 was his first tournament since his third-place finish in the Match Play Championship.