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Holder Casey and American Cook share Valspar lead

24 March 2019
Holder Casey and American Cook share Valspar lead

At the Valspar Championship, this week's PGA Tour event, golfers will need to navigate the Snake Pit, the final three holes on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

"I can't believe it has been that long since I won on United States soil, but hopefully I can get back to being 100 per cent healthy and get back to winning ways", he said.

That's a childhood nickname for Joel Dahmen, who took advantage of gentle, morning conditions Thursday on a tough Copperhead course for a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Austrian-born Sepp Straka in the Valspar Championship.

"I've never defended a professional title, which I would love to do", he said.

Paul Casey will take a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson into the final round of the Valspar Championship.

Casey's 5-under-par 66 was tied for the low score for the second round and featured four birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 fifth hole) and just one bogey on the course that ends with the famed "Snake Pit", a three-hole, closing stretch that's among the hardest on the circuit. He had a 69, with one birdie coming on the 578-yard 14th hole with a big drive and a 3-wood dead into the wind to 30 feet.

After a 300-yard drive, Knox used a three-wood for his rare feat at the par-five 11th hole at Innisbrook Resort and his ball trickled into the hole at ideal speed.

"It's a very quick way to go from 2-over to 1-under, " Knox said.

Russell Knox, Kevin Kisner and Luke Donald are tied for third at four under par and American Keegan Bradley is part of a five-player group at three under 68, two strokes back of the leaders. "Didn't even have to putt, which was great".

"It makes your back feel better, actually, when you make a few birdies and hole a few putts", he said.

"I hit a attractive drive".

Defending champion Paul Casey opened with a 70, while Jon Rahm made his tournament debut with an even-par 71.

Early tee times didn't help Reed, who had a 77, or Day at 74. He added three more birdies to turn a rough start into an ideal one, especially considering the importance of these next two weeks.

The Australian's chances were effectively over by the third hole of his second round, after making a bogey at the second, followed by a calamitous double bogey at the third when his tee shot found the trees to the left of the fairway.