“We are not moving to the fall, I can assure you that.”
That was tournament director Tracy West addressing rumors of the Valspar Championship moving to a new date on the PGA Tour...even before the question was asked. That was just one of the highlights of the annual Media Day for the Valspar, at Innisbrook Resort on Thursday.
The PGA Tour will be retooling the tournament schedule for 2019, and the rumors are flying. The Players Championship is moving back to March, part of the Florida swing and the PGA Championship is moving up to May. How this affects the Valspar Championship is still to be announced, but Tracy shot down the notion that the Valspar is moving back to the fall. There are still whispers that, at the least, the Valspar will move back a few weeks in the month of March...but still a vital tournament in the Florida swing.
Defending Valspar champion Adam Hadwin paid an in-person visit to Media Day. He's coming off his best season on tour, with the win at the Valspar...a runner-up finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge...and over $3 million in season-long earnings. It changed his life.
“I went to the Masters, I played in the President's Cup, it kind of started all that for me. I played some good golf before, but to finally break through...and if nothing else, it gives me the confidence that I've done it once and if I get in that situation, I can do it again.”
Tour players seem to be waiting longer than ever this year, to commit to their schedule. Still, the Valspar has a strong field so far, with less than one month to go before the tournament returns the week of March 5-11.
Official World Golf Ranking #8 Rory McIlroy has committed to playing Valspar for the first time. Masters Champ Sergio Garcia, #11 in the World, will play for the first time since 2013. #12 Tommy Fleetwood, #13 Henrik Stenson, #19 Matt Kuchar, and #23 Charley Hoffman have also committed. The players have until March 2 to let Valspar officials know if they will play.
The Valspar Championship is loaded with special events. The 4th annual Valspar LIVE! Concert on Saturday night will feature country music stars Jake Owen and Dustin Lynch. Last year's Saturday concert sold out.
The Hooters Owl's Nest at 12 and 13, will expand this year. Also returning will be the Chameleon Cove with a 100-ton sand sculpture, Frenchy's Pool Party, and the Michelob ULTRA 19th Hole.
Ronde and Tiki Barber, along with Derrick Brooks, will once again host the Pro-Celebrity-Am on Monday on the Copperhead course. They'll be joined by football stars like the Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Super Bowl champs Jake Elliott and Trey Burton of the Philadelphia Eagles, and new Nebraska head coach Scott Frost.
There are ticket packages available and you'll want to familiarize yourself with parking options before arriving. For more sports in Tampa Bay, register with us on 813area and 727area, it's always free and we'll connect you to all the things to do in Tampa Bay!