Friday's golf roundup: Paul Casey eyes repeat at Valspar

May JohnsonMar 25, 2019

The Englishman led by three from Dustin Johnson and Jason Kokrak but saw that lead cut as he dropped a shot at the last while world number one Johnson escaped from a fairway bunker to make birdie, leaving him eight under par with Casey nine under.

American David Lipsky, who finished second at the Maybank Championship in 2017, made his move by signing for a 67 to take second place on his own.

A year ago, he rallied from five shots behind with a 65 and wound up winning by one shot over Woods and Patrick Reed. Eight players had a share of the lead in the third round, and 10 players finished within four shots of the lead.

"I actually feel very little pressure", Casey said.

"We had 194 to carry it into the downgrain part", Kokrak said.

"Overall pretty pleased, you know, seeing how this is my first event back since the Sony and really haven't had too many reps", he said. At the time, the hole-in-one tied Kokrak with Paul Casey for the lead at 7-under par with the Copperhead Course's infamous "Snake Pit" finishing stretch of holes awaiting.

Cook turned to a new putter and liked the results as he recorded five birdies and a bogey. His card included three double-bogeys.

Level with the former world number one at 137 were American Scott Stallings (68) and South Korea's Im Sung-jae (67).

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The gutsy effort, which nearly included a hole-in-one on the back of an albatross he made in the opening round on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, came after he'd dug deep to make a late birdie in a second circuit that saw him drop seven shots in 10 holes to scrape into the weekend.

Johnson looked to be giving up plenty of opportunities, especially on the par 5s.

But the most memorable shot came from Knox on the par-5 11th hole.

From light rough with trees partially in his way, he tried to hammer a 5-wood 290 yards. His final roll of the dice will come in next week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas. Still, he had a tree between his ball and the green.

Casey safely negotiated the 15th and 16th in par, but the nerves started to show as he missed a par putt from just over five feet at the 17th.

"Makes up for the other two", he said, walking to the 15th tee. "I'm in a good position going into the round tomorrow".

But the big shot was on the 18th, and the birdie got him into the final group in his first trip to Innisbrook since 2010. "Nice to turn it around after last week to suddenly be not in control of this event but I m near the top, which is good".

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