Forget March Madness, let’s talk golf. We have a full menu to dive into as the PGA, European,, and LPGA Tours were all in action this weekend.


Paul Casey returned to Innisbrook this week to successfully defend his 2018 Valspar Championship title. The Englishman had a shaky Sunday, but his final round 72 (+1) was good enough to give him his 18th professional victory. Casey now has three career PGA Tour wins, two of which came at the Copperhead Course. Valspar Leaderboard

Casey has had a remarkable career despite not having many PGA Tour wins. He has spent the better part of the last twenty years inside the top 50 in the world and has been inside the top 25 since 2014. He hasn’t been ranked inside the top 10 since early in 2011, but the win this week moves him to the 11th position. He now has three top-3 finishes this year to go along with four other top-20 finishes. That kind of consistency is something to be admired, as are his forearms.

Not to be

A pair of players, Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Kokrak, finished just one shot back of Casey this week. Kokrak bogied his 72nd hole to drop out of the tie for the lead, a big blow for a player in search of his first career PGA Tour win. He does have two top 10s this year so maybe he will finally break through in 2019. Oosthuizen, despite his limited schedule, is still playing world-class golf. He won the South African Open last December and has earned his way back inside the top 20 in the world.

Other Leaderboard Notes

Sungjae Im continued his steady rookie season with a T4 finish in Tampa. Im now has seven top-25 finishes on the year, three of which are top-4 finishes.

Dustin Johnson fell to a T6 finish despite playing in the final group on Sunday. DJ shot a birdie-free 74 over the final round.

Luke Donald recorded his first top-10 finish since 2017 despite a final-round 73. Donald has been fighting back from injury and has only played in four events in the last year. LD had fallen outside the top 900 in the world before his T9 at the Valspar.

Playoffs??? You’re talking about playoffs???

We had a pair of exciting finishes on the European and Tours this week. Starting on the Euro Tour, Scott Hend defeated Nacho Elvira with a par on the first playoff hole for his first professional win since 2016. Elvira drained this putt to get into the playoff but was unable to top Hend in extra time. Hend used some new-age backstopping to help get himself to the top, but he is still a deserving champion. Ernie Els finished five shots out of the playoff on his way to his 300th career top-10 finish. Maybank Championship Leaderboard

The Tour playoff was a bit more exciting than the Euro’s. Regulation ended in exciting fashion as Vince Covello knocked it tight on the 72nd hole to tie Justin Lower for the lead. Covello then knocked his first playoff tee shot into the water but was able to get up-and-down for par to keep his hopes alive. He eventually knocked off Lower on the fourth playoff hole with a birdie and captured his first win. Fabian Gomez, Steve Marino, and Boo Weekley were amongst the others in the top 10. Chitimacha Louisiana Open Leaderboard

Quick Hooks

World #9 Jin-Young Ko won the LPGA Founders Cup by one shot on Sunday. Ko overcame a five-shot deficit to beat a quartet of players by one shot. Nelly and Jessica Korda were amongst the group tied for second. Leaderboard

The USGA hired Jason Gore to oversee player relations with the PGA Tour.

The Latest Podcasts and Articles

Shotgun Start: Team Reed gets counsel outside the circle, backboard plays, and Garrigus suspended

Andy and Brendan return from the weekend to dissect the results from the various tours around the world. They begin with the Valspar and Paul Casey’s defense as Dustin Johnson quietly faded. They also address what could possibly be the most useless FedExCup graphic in the history of useless FEC graphics. Then they get to the biggest news of the weekend in Tampa — Patrick and Justine Reed’s new swing coach. Skipping over to the European Tour, they hit on Scott Hend, the eventual Maybank winner, deliberately punching a shot off the grandstands, the ethics of it, and if we’ll see more of these backboard plays in the future. In news, we address the harsh Robert Garrigus suspension, which somehow diverts into an apoplectic shouting about Jason Gore and a new five-man player relations council at the USGA. Why are five people required for this? We wrap with a Masters Fact of the Day on the origins of the Pinkerton guards being enlisted at Augusta National. Listen on iTunesStitcheror Spotify