Valspar Champions Golf Tournament Comes to Sunshine State

By: Abagail A. Chambers 

The 45th annual Valspar Championship Golf Tournament brought some of the best players in the game right here to the Sunshine State. The event took place at the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor as a part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup.

The four-day tournament started on Thursday, March 17, with round one kicking off at 7 a.m. and  ending with round four on Sunday, March 20. 

Sam Burns took home the victory just as he did the previous year with 17 under par. 

Nick Mariana, junior education major and long time fan of the sport, was able to attend the event on Saturday. 

“It was awesome to experience it in person and not just watch it on television. It was a very hot and long day, but totally worth every minute. Getting to see some of the world’s best golfers play was something I’ll never forget,” said Mariani. “Attending this event has been one of my life-long dreams and it meant so much to me to be able to go.”

Although this is Burns’ third PGA title, it did not come without a fight. Rookie Davis Riley gave Burns a run for his money with a playoff that unfortunately did not end in his favor. 

Both players finished the fourth round at 17 under par, leading them into a playoff. Riley fell short when Burns shot a 32-foot birdie on the second playoff hole at the Copperhead Course.

Brian Jesus, junior psychology major and fan of Sam Burns, enjoyed watching the tournament from his home. 

“Although I did not get to watch it in person, it was still an exciting and nerve-wrecking event. I watched Burns win the title last year and I was thrilled to see him do it again,” said Jesus. 

“The playoff between Burns and Riley was definitely my favorite part of the entire weekend.”

In an article by Golf Digest, Riley said, “Sam’s a hell of a player. And, yeah, I mean, any time you give someone like that who is playing well within 30 feet you always think there’s a chance, so I kind of went into there thinking he was going to give it a really good run. He’s been a very good putter for a long time.”

The Valspar Championship originated in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Classic. In 2007, PGA Tour announced its six-year sponsorship for the event with PODS, of Clearwater. However, in 2013, Valspar Corporation became the sponsor of the event, and has been ever since; hence the current title of Valspar Championship. 

This event is more than just a gold tournament. The Valspar Championship has a mission to provide all guests with an unforgettable and entertaining experience. 

Aptly called “The most colorful PGA TOUR tournament in the world”, the tour welcomes spectators, businesses, and charities for four days of unparalleled entertainment. Already scheduled for next year, The Valspar Championship will be held March 13-19, 2023. 

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