Sunday, March 11, 2018
PALM HARBOR, FLA. Paul Casey closed with a 6-under 65 and won the Valspar Championship after watching Tiger Woods come up one putt short of a playoff.
A highly charged PGA Tour event ended with one player ending a long victory drought, just not the one most fans came to see.
Casey ran off three straight birdies early on the back nine to take the lead, and he closed with tough pars to post at 10-under 274. No one caught him, giving Casey his first PGA Tour victory since the 2009 Houston Open.
Patrick Reed squandered a chance to force a playoff when a long birdie putt rolled 45 feet back to his feet and he three-putted for bogey.
Woods charged up the record crowd with a birdie putt from just inside 45 feet on the 17th hole to get within one shot. He laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet. The birdie chance to force a playoff was 2 feet short.
Woods closed with a 1-under 70 and tied for second, his highest finish in an official tournament since he tied for second at The Barclays in 2013.
Return to Vindy.com and read Monday's Vindicator sports section for more on this story.