Charl Schwartzel of South Africa goes into this week’s Valspar Championship near Clearwater, FL, nicked up after getting drilled by a shot from one of his amateur partners that glanced off a tree and smacked his left wrist during the event’s pro-am. Last year’s champ tried to carry on but the discomfort was too much to bear. The 2011 Masters winner plans to treat the injury with ice and painkillers in an effort to try and go back-to-back in the Sunshine State.

Spieth a favourite

Jordan Spieth sets up as a favourite due to him having won the Valspar during his fantastic year of 2015 when he captured five titles, including The Masters and the U.S.

Open at Chambers Bay. The 23-year-old Texan is a master target golfer and the Copperhead Course is built for target players such as himself and Schwartzel. Spieth, who is among the 19 of the top 30 players in the FedExCup points standings, enters the tournament in fourth position, 727 points behind leader Justin Thomas of the U.S. Thomas leads Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama by one skinny point in the standings and will try to regain the pin-tight game that took him to record a round of 59 and two victories in Hawaii at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open.

Furyk comes in focused

Veteran Jim Furyk, one of the PGA Tour’s all-time masters of distance control, has to be viewed as a factor at Copperhead now that his leadership roles have been finalized.

The captain of the 2018 American Ryder Cup team was just named a 2016 Presidents Cup assistant captain by captain Steve Stricker so he can now fully concentrate on playing golf. Big-hitting American Gary Woodland could prove to be the exception to the precision rule. Woodland has placed in the top five in two of his previous three events – The Honda Classic and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – due to an improvement in his iron game.

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course) plays 7,340 yards and is a par 71.

Favorites: Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger

Players To Watch: Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Matt Every, Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson

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