Lead shared at Valspar Championship

Lead shared at Valspar Championship

Defending champion Paul Casey and American Austin Cook will go into the third round of the Valspar Championship in Florida one shot ahead of the chasing pack after the early starters posted a six-under 136 total on Friday. He is competing in his first PGA Tour event on a sponsor exemption.

"I like the way things are right now with my swing", said Elvira after moving to 13-under-par, with American David Lipsky his nearest challenger. Seven years on, though, that remains his last win on tour. "This year, knowing that I have won around here, I have just a slightly different approach to it".

Casey started the day one clear of Johnson, although he faced some early attacks as Kokrak began with back-to-back birdies and both Oosthuizen and Donald eagled the opening hole. Luke Donald, a past victor at Innisbrook playing for only the second time this year - and first since January - grinded his way to a 70 and joined Scott Stallings (70) three shots behind.

Casey mixed four birdies with five bogeys in his final round
Casey mixed four birdies with five bogeys in his final round

Cook turned to a new putter and liked the results as he recorded five birdies and a bogey.

Casey then bogeyed the closing hole to end the day at 9 under, allowing Johnson to pick up two valuable shots on the demanding track's daunting, three-hole "Snake Pit" finishing stretch.

Knox, who still has an outside chance of joining Sandy Lyle in flying the Saltire at the Masters in just over a fortnight's time, came to life again on the back nine, which he'd covered in 29 in the first round to open the $6.7 million event with a 67.


"I'm in a good position. because this golf course, it's tough", Johnson said.

The 25-year-old, the first Austrian to earn a tour card, has missed six of nine cuts so far but five birdies in 10 holes from the fifth saw him card only his eighth sub-70 round this season. Garcia, however, fell down the leaderboard after shooting even par.

Americans Roberto Castro (even), Lucas Glover (4 under), Shawn Stefani (even) and Kramer Hickok (3 under) are tied for ninth at 3 under with Slovakia's Rory Sabbatini (2 under) and Spain's Jon Rahm (3 under).


Casey last year ended eight years without winning on the PGA Tour when he closed with a 65 and had to wait to see if Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed could catch him.

Casey relishes the challenge of playing alongside the world number one in Sunday's last group. After consecutive birdies on 10th and 11th, Lahiri gave away shots on 16th and 18th. The eagle putt followed a blind shot over a hill on the longest hole at Innisbrook.

His only bogey came at 12 after finding a greenside bunker. "But everybody s going to make bogeys".


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