The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, has delivered a history of close calls since it transitioned into a March date for the FedExCup era, so it is of no surprise that the 2023 edition of the Valspar Championship still was in doubt as the last pairing putted on the 72nd hole.
When Taylor Moore posted 10-under 274 out of the antepenultimate pairing on Sunday, it had a feel that he’d check up one stroke too high to force the fourth playoff at Copperhead since 2015, but that quickly transitioned into the a virtual lock for a playoff when Adam Schenk all but stymied the right-hander’s approach into the green at par-4 18th where he opted to escape left-handed. Ultimately, when his long-range putt for par didn’t drop, Moore was the outright champion by one stroke. Schenk was snake bit in The Snake Pit to lose by one.
Moore is the fourth first-time champion of the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season and the third in the last three weeks. Although he was a non-winner and without a top 10 in seven months, the second-year member was a respectful +5000 to win at BetMGM on the eve of the tournament.
Schenk was one of my Sleepers, albeit without a specific bet attached, but he was available at +12500 also to break through for his maiden title on TOUR. Another Sleeper, Wyndham Clark (+140 for a Top 20), finished fifth.
Jordan Spieth played alongside Schenk on Sunday but, unlike so many previous performances, he failed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of his hat and closed with two bogeys on The Snake Pit before finishing two strokes off Moore’s pace. Spieth was second-shortest to win at +1200.
Tommy Fleetwood (+2500) matched Spieth’s 8-under 276 for the T3. It’s his first podium finish on the PGA TOUR since a solo third at The Honda Classic in 2020.
Two-time defending champion Sam Burns (+1600) finished alone in sixth. Tournament favorite Justin Thomas (+1000) landed in a six-way tie for 10th place.