Golf Shots takes a look at this week’s stop on the PGA Valspar Championship, how John Daly managed to score a 12 on one hole, and why a Florida golf course manager is relieved to know that he will not face charges for setting up friendly wagers for his golf league. One golfer outclassed the field on Friday.
In Palm Harbor, Florida on Friday the winds were down and so were the scores, as Robert Garrigus raced to the front of the pack. Garrigus fired a 5-under par 66 today to take a three-shot lead halfway through this week’s Valspar Championship at the world-famous Copperhead golf course at Innisbrook resort. He had three birdies on each side, with a bogey mixed in on the back nine holes. He was one stroke in back of first-round leader Matt Every when the day started. Every had an even-par 71 after opening with a 68 on a windy Thursday.
Kevin Na was alone in second after making birdie on number-9, his last hole of the day, and pulling out of a logjam at minus-3 with four other players including Every. Also in the group at three-under par were Mateo Manassero, Pat Perez and Justin Rose. Jim Furyk leads a group of six players at two-under par for the first 36 holes.
It was not a good day for John Daly. The former PGA and British Open Champion was already nine-over for the day when he came to the par-4 16th hole at Copperhead. Daly hit his drive and two more shots into the lake on the right side of the fairway. Laying six, he played to the left rough. Five shots later he was in the hole with a score of 12. Asked about the hole after his round, Daly had a sense of humor about it. He said it was “a good 12,” adding that he got up and down to salvage the score. He ended the day with a 90, and was 22-over for the Valspar Championship.
On the flip-side it was a relatively good day for Chuck Winship, golf course manager at Tarpon Springs municipal golf course in Florida, just up the road from Palm Harbor. Winship was the focus of an investigation into friendly golf wagers taking place at his establishment, but was cleared of all charges on Friday. It seems that an employee of the golf course, which is owned by the city of Tarpon Springs, made a complaint that Winship was overseeing gambling and raffling off a set of golf clubs. Winship manages leagues at the golf course, and it was common practice for competitors to chip-in some extra money during play to be distributed to those with the lowest scores, closest to the pin and longest drive during the competition. This, it should be noted, happens weekly everywhere that the game is played.
Even though Winship was keeping track of wagers at the course, they said there was no evidence he made a profit from it. Investigators did, however, conclude that the raffle was out-of-bounds because the golf course was not a charity.
The Valspar Championship continues Saturday as will friendly wagering at Tarpon Springs municipal golf course, but John Daly will not. His 22-over was 19 strokes off of the tournament cut line.
Golf Shots is a daily series which provides analysis and commentary on the PGA tour and golf-related topics all year long.
Commentary By Chuck Podhaisky