Paul Casey Shoots 8 Under Par to Win 2019 Valspar Championship by 1 Stroke

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA - MARCH 24: Paul Casey of England watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the final round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort on March 24, 2019 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Paul Casey held off a final-round surge from Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen to win the Valspar Championship for the second straight year. 

The England native started Sunday with a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson. He maintained that position by finishing with a one-over-par 72 to earn his third career win on the PGA Tour. 

Kokrak and Oosthuizen finished one shot behind Casey to tie for second place. 

Here's what the final leaderboard from Innisbrook Resort looked like, via PGATour.com:

1. Paul Casey (-8)

T2. Jason Kokrak (-7)

T2. Louis Oosthuizen (-7)

T4. Bubba Watson (-6)

T4. Sungjae Im (-6)

T6. John Rahm (-5)

T6. Ryan Armour (-5)

T6. Dustin Johnson (-5)

T9. Denny McCarthy (-4)

T9. Austin Cook (-4)

T9. Scott Stallings (-4)

T9. Luke Donald (-4)

Here is how much money each of the top finishers in this year's event walked away with, via GolfDigest.com:

1. Paul Casey: $1,206,000

T2. Jason Kokrak: $589,600

T2. Louis Oosthuizen: $589,600

T4. Bubba Watson: $294,800

T4. Sungjae Im: $294,800

T6. John Rahm: $224,450

T6. Ryan Armour: $224,450

T6. Dustin Johnson: $224,450

T9. Denny McCarthy: $174,200

T9. Austin Cook: $174,200

T9. Scott Stallings: $174,200

T9. Luke Donald: $174,200

Casey has run the gamut of performance in his past three tournaments. He finished third at the WGC-Mexico Championship, missed the cut at The Players Championship last week and now has his first win of the season. 

Sunday didn't start off looking like things were going to work out for Casey. After opening with a birdie on No. 1, he had three bogeys over the next eight holes and made the turn at one over par for the round. 

Per Justin Ray of 15th Club, Casey's history of closing strong with a 54-hole lead hasn't been good:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Casey is 1-for-5 on the PGA Tour with a 54-hole lead or co-lead. https://t.co/XCC0U8wpxo

Things seemed to get better for Casey after starting the back nine. He managed to save a birdie on No. 11 thanks to this shot after hitting his ball into the bunker:


A satisfying sound. 🔊⬆ @Paul_Casey takes the solo lead. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/BlAeUOPa54

After alternating with a bogey and birdie on No. 13 and 14, Casey went back on cruise control for his next two holes before opening the door for Kokrak when this par putt on 17 went just left of the hole:


A bogey for Paul Casey @ValsparChamp. Casey and Kokrak are tied for the lead on the 72nd hole. https://t.co/gorPj95vlm

Kokrak moved into a tie for the lead at that point at seven under par. He put himself in a bad position to remain all square with Casey, or even take the outright lead, when his tee shot on No. 18 went into the rough. His second shot proved to be more costly when the ball went into the intermediate, forcing him to take a drop and ultimately settle for bogey. 

Casey was able to play for par on the final hole to secure the victory. 


Twice as nice. ✅ 2018 @ValsparChamp winner 🏆 ✅ 2019 @ValsparChamp winner 🏆 Congratulations, @Paul_Casey! #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/Y19sNJJyui

Oosthuizen had a unique final round on his way to finishing with a two-under-par 69. He hit just six of 18 greens in regulation, yet still managed to break par:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Louis Oosthuizen: -2 today despite hitting only 6 GIR - that's the fewest greens in regulation hit in a round of -2 or better in the last 10 years at Innisbrook.

While Oosthuizen was able to overcome his struggles getting on the green, Johnson had a day to forget. The world's top-ranked player finished tied for sixth place after a three-over-par 74. He didn't make one birdie in the round and failed to break 70 for the first time all weekend.