2021 Valspar Championship leaderboard: Who’s contending after round 1
The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort annually plays as one of the most difficult courses on the PGA Tour. The leader played it like a pitch and putt. “Today was an all-around just great day,” he said. “Basically zero stress the whole day. I didn’t really come close to making a bogey, so that was a really fun day to be out there and playing.” Here are three things you need to know after Thursday’s first round of the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Keegan Bradley leads
Keegan Bradley birdied the 1st hole. He birdied the 18th. And, as he said, had zero stress throughout.
Bradley made seven birdies in all, including five on the back nine, on his way to a seven-under 64 and a two-shot lead over five players, and a three-stroke advantage over seven players.
“I know that I’m going to have some bogeys and some stress coming, but as for today, I played so good and it feels good to go around a course like this and shoot that score,” Bradley said. “This is a tough track, demands a lot, ball striking-wise, and I did that today.”
Max Homa is tied for second
“It was really solid golf,” Homa said. “Got off to a great start. Kind of did everything well. Short game put me in good spots to save pars when I got out of position. I made a lot of mid-length to longer putts finally — hadn’t done that in a while. I drove it well. It was fairly stress-free because this course will get you if you get out in the trees.”
Three shots back of Bradley are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Sam Burns, Scott Stallings, Scott Brown, Ted Potter Jr. and Kramer Hickok. Among other players, Justin Thomas shot a two-under 69 and is five shots back, Patrick Reed shot a one-under 70, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson shot even par, and Phil Mickelson shot a two-over 73.
Michael Visacki shoots 74
Michael Visacki, playing in his first PGA Tour event after an emotional Monday qualifying, shot a three-over 74. He birdied his first hole, made three bogeys after that, then played one over from there.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “Much different than playing the mini tours. It was an unbelievable experience.”