PGA Tour: First Look at the Tampa Bay Championship

By Carl Conrad
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing continues, stopping at the Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) for the Tampa Bay Championship. Luke Donald will be looking to repeat as champion, but is hoping that it doesn’t take a birdie on the first hole of a four-man playoff to earn the victory as it did last year.

This par 71 course, designed in 1972 by Larry Packard, comes in at 7,340 yards. It is aesthetically very different from the rest of the courses the pros will see on the Florida Swing, as it features rolling terrain and tree-lined fairways. Two of its par 5s feature double doglegs and will force the players to position their tee shots perfectly if they are to have any hope of getting on in two.

The final three holes have been dubbed the “Snake Pit” and feature two difficult par 4s that surround the 215 yard par 3, 17th hole. The name makes the stretch sound just about as menacing as it actually plays. While it did rank as the fourth-hardest closing stretch of any course in 2012, it did play easier than it had since 2007. The final three holes played .519 strokes above par on average last year.

It would be difficult for any non-major field to stack up to what we saw last week at the WGC Cadillac Championship. While this event doesn’t boast quite as many superstars, seven of the top 20 golfers in the world will be teeing it up. The weather conditions are supposed to be favorable, but we will just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for the golfers this week.

My pick for the week is Adam Scott. He has played well in recent events, including finishing tied for third last week at the WGC Cadillac Championship after carding progressively better rounds throughout the week. It seems as though he has put the debacle at last year’s British Open behind him for good.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.


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