PGA Tour

Field Watch: Valspar Championship

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The Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course features four of the top 15 players in the world, headlined by No. 5 Henrik Stenson and No. 8 Justin Thomas.

Stenson made his return to the PGA Tour this week at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship and lasted 11 holes before he had to withdraw due to a stomach virus.

Thomas already has three wins in this wrap-around PGA Tour season that includes back-to-back victories in Hawaii. His wire-to-wire win at the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu included the magical 59 in the opening round.

Thomas hit a rough patch with missed cuts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and The Honda Classic and a tie for 39th at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, trailing only Hideki Matsuyama.

Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed, Luke Donald and defending champion Charl Schwartzel are also in the field.

Schwartzel’s won last year in a playoff over Bill Haas for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2011 Masters.

Past major winners who are scheduled to tee it up at the Valspar Championship include Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Retief Goosen, Graeme McDowell, Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh and Webb Simpson.

Noticeably absent from the field is 2015 champion Jordan Spieth. After his win in a playoff at the Valspar Championship, Spieth went on to win the Masters and the U.S. Open. Spieth, who recently won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, is currently ranked 6th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

There are four spots remaining in the field for Monday qualifiers.

Golf Channel has live coverage Thursday and Friday and early coverage on the weekend. NBC has live coverage on Saturday and Sunday. PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com will have coverage all four days.

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