Valspar Championship Preview: How to watch and who to watch


Tiger Woods is back in action this week for his Valspar Championship debut. Here's how to watch, and who to back at Innisbrook this week. 

From the Bear Trap of the Honda Classic to the Snake Pit at Innisbrook, the Florida Swing resumes with the Valspar Championship and another devilish trio of holes to navigate on the back-nine.

Last year, Adam Hadwin made a double bogey six on the 16th (the first hole of the Snake Pit), but two pars on the final holes gave him a one shot advantage over Patrick Cantlay to secure his maiden PGA Tour title. 

Hadwin returns to Palm Harbour, Florida with two top 10s in his last two starts, joining a field headlined by Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy. 

Seven of the nine PGA Tour winners of 2018 are sitting out this week, including last week's winner Phil Mickelson - who ended a five year drought with his first victory since the 2013 Open at Muirfield. And with only a few weeks to go until the Masters, there's still a lot on the line for those bidding to qualify. So who should you be backing this week? 

How to watch

Featured Groups: Live PGA Tour, Sky Sports Golf (12:00)
Sky Sports Golf (19:00)

Featured Groups: Live PGA Tour, Sky Sports Golf (12:00), Sky Sports Main Event (15:30)
Sky Sports Golf (19:00)

Sky Sports Golf (18:00)

Sky Sports Golf (17:00), Sky Sports Main Event (19:00)

Who to watch: The field

Past Champions in the field: Adam Hadwin, Charl Schwartzel, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Streelman, Luke Donald, Gary Woodland, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Sean O'Hair

Jordan Spieth: Spieth finished T14 at the WGC Mexico, T9 at the Genesis Open, and with the exception of one missed cut, has been incredibly solid (he's posted eight top 10s in his last 12 starts.). He was champion here in 2015 and is ranked in the top 10 for scoring average (actual), strokes gained around the green and tee to green, but just needs to get the putter going (currently ranked 163). 

Paul Casey: Casey still hasn't missed a cut since the 2017 Sony Open, and despite a T49 at the Genesis Open he was T12 at the WGC Meixco and has had four top-10 finishes in his last eight starts. Still looking for his second PGA Tour victory, but hasn't played here since 2014. Ranked 9th for Strokes Gained tee to green and 2nd for sand saves. 

Justin Rose: In his last eight starts has three wins and a worst finish of T37 in Mexico last week, but hadn't teed up since the Farmers. MC here in his last start (2015) but was T8 in 2014 and T5 in '11. Ranked 12th for scoring average, 1st for par four scoring average. 

Sergio Garcia: Couldn't get on a run during the final day of the WGC Mexico, but comes in to Valspar after a solid top 10 performance to follow two top 33 finishes (one at the Honda Classic and another in Dubai) and his victory at the SMBC Singapore Open. Hasn't missed a cut here in five starts, last finishing T7 in 2013. 

Tiger Woods: Another encouraging performance saw Tiger in contention at the windy Honda Classic, finishing solo 12th and committing to both his Valspar debut and the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week. Woods has said his game is 'on track' for Augusta and could be a real contender this week if he keeps it on the fairway. He's struggled with driving in all three of his starts in 2018 (his currently driving accuracy is way down at 45%, having hit just 63 of a possible 140 fairways). 

Rory McIlroy: Skipped Mexico last week after a couple of disappointing starts to his PGA Tour return (MC-T20-T59) following his T3-2nd finish at Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Has dropped to World No.12 - his worst ranking since 2009, so is looking to rebound with a good week in the run up to the Masters. His first outing here, and needs a good putting week.

Tony Finau: Finished 5th here last year, and comes in to the Valspar with two top 10s in his last four starts. Was T27 in Mexico, but could be a good bet this week given he ranks 7th in SG tee to green, 11th for scoring average and is in the top 25 in both par-5 and par-3 scoring.

Adam Hadwin: The defending champion has three top 10s in his last five starts, including a T6 at the Genesis and T9 in Mexico last week. Hasn't missed a cut since August. 

Webb Simpson: In five events in 2018, Simpson has two top 5s (a T4 at the Sony Open and T5 at the Honda Classic), one missed cut and two top 40s. Ranked 14th for strokes gained total, 6th for strokes gained putting, 8th for scoring average. 

Henrik Stenson: Three starts in 2018, finishing 8th in Abu Dhabi, T6 in Dubai and T60 at the Maybank Championship. His first start in the USA this year, but his last three starts at Innesbrook were T7-T11-4th. 

Kevin Na: Na finished T2 behind Bubba Watson at the Genesis Open in his last start, and although he missed the cut here last year finished runner up here in 2014, T10 in '15 and T22 in '16. Ranked 1st for SG around the green and 7th for scrambling.