The Copperhead course at Innisbrook is a long course that will test the best players in the world from tee to green.
The setting is Woods returning to golf and, while it is nothing new at this point, it is no less the attraction. In between, he missed the cut at Riviera, which is one reason he is at Innisbrook for the first time. Water hazards are minimal, so good players from the rough can hang around (paging Tiger Woods). "I felt really strong afterward. I don't know how it didn't go in". "And I can handle two weeks in a row". Tiger might not be among the top sports betting favorites for this week's tournament but he is sure to draw some impressive crowds if he can remain in contention through the first couple of rounds and stay relevant through Sunday. His first start in the United States of America this year, but his last three starts at Innesbrook were T7-T11-4th.
He was fourth for greens in regulation in 2016, eighth for GIR in 2015 while he ranked top of the Scrambling stats in 2015 and fifth previous year. Ernie Els once considered it the best tournament course in Florida. Following them will be a group of Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, and Matt Kuchar.
The 14-time major victor said he is planning a pre-tournament trip to Augusta ahead of next month's Masters, which will be his first appearance in a major since 2015. Woods said he couldn't find any because he hasn't played enough to be listed. "With this wind blowing, it's going to put a premium on really hitting it flush". Stenson will join Woods and Spieth for the opening two rounds. Experience should count for something as the top contenders look to build on their past starts at this event while some of the other big names like Tiger and Rory take on the challenge for the first time in their careers. Woods closed a 67 and wound up beating John Daly in a playoff.
Pressed on why it suits him, Stenson responded: "It's because of the second shots, both on the par 3s and the par 4s, a lot of times it's those kind of mid-irons".
"I stood on that tee", Spieth said Wednesday. "You just got to deal with it". The Canadian, 33/1, is now bidding to become the first ever player to retain their title at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, and third player to bag multiple wins at the event. On the eve of the tournaments, Woods received his trophy for PGA Tour player of the year, and Spieth received his as PGA Tour rookie of the year.
There is a tendency to judge Woods's progress by each shot, each round, each week.
"This course always plays tough". Then again, that's about the time his injuries began to kick in.
That moment for Spieth came in a practice round at Muirfield Village, with Woods as his teammate. At the time I still had two more legs. "They went eagle-birdie-birdie or something like that to start".
Spieth showed a little of his magic himself that day. So when he finally got back into the winner's circle after almost five years, the effect was two-fold: it put the young stars on notice that the Tour's elder statesman can still hang, and it gave hope to a certain 14-time major champ that time has not yet run out.
Spieth isn't one to get intimidated. Woods shot 82 and missed the cut.