What Is the Lowest Score Ever Shot at the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook?
First played in 2000, the PGA Tour event currently known as the Valspar Championship was originally an alternate event, first to the Presidents Cup in 2000 and then to the WGC-American Express Championship in 2002.
From 2003 to 2006, it stood on its own and was the last full-field event before the Tour Championship, which was then played in November. When the FedEx Cup was introduced in 2007, the tourney was moved to March, where it’s been since, and currently follows The Players Championship to close out the Florida Swing.
Since its inception, the Valspar Championship has been held at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, the Larry Packard design that features the famous three-hole finish known as the Snake Pit.
While the tourney certainly doesn’t feature the strongest field of the year, plenty of big names have hoisted the winner’s trophy over the years, a list that includes major champions Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Mark Calcavecchia, Jim Furyk, Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth, and Charl Schwartzel.
But do any of these past champions hold the tournament record for the lowest round or the lowest 72-hole score? Let’s take a look.
What is the lowest round ever shot at the Copperhead Course during the Valspar Championship?
The lowest single round at the par-71 Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is a 10-under 61, a record currently shared by two players.
The first to do it was another major champion, Padraig Harrington, who made 10 birdies and no bogeys during the first round of the 2012 event, which was then called the Transitions Championship. However, the Irishman shot 3-over the next three days and tied for 20th at 7-under, six shots back of former world No. 1 Luke Donald, who defeated Sangmoon Bae in a playoff.
The mark was tied in the second round of the 2022 Valspar Championship by Matthew NeSmith, who made eight birdies and an eagle en route to his 61. But like Harrington, NeSmith didn’t win the tournament. Despite setting the 36-hole scoring record, the South Carolina native shot 69-71 over the weekend to finish at 16-under, leaving him one shot out of a playoff in a tie for third.
Sam Burns won said playoff over Davis Riley, who nearly tied the course record with a third-round 62. With the victory, Burns became the fourth two-time winner of the event and the second to go back-to-back, the first being Paul Casey in 2018 and 2019.
What is the lowest 72-hole score at the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course?
As for the lowest 72-hole score in Valspar Championship history, that belongs to Vijay Singh, who shot 18-under in 2004, shooting 65-69-67-65 at the Copperhead Course to capture his ninth and final PGA Tour victory that year. This was still when the tourney was played late in the year.
Since then, the lowest 72-hole score has been 17-under, which Sam Burns shot in both of his aforementioned back-to-back victories in 2021 and 2022. Davis Riley obviously also shot 17-under in 2022 but lost in the playoff.
The largest margin of victory belongs to K.J. Choi, who won the 2002 event by seven strokes.