The PGA Tour stops this week in Florida at Innisbrook, and its also the first week CoinRoster will test our fantasy golf games. We have posted two fantasy games, one Double-Up game with a 0.001 btc entry fee per roster, and one Jackpot game with a 0.0001 btc entry fee per roster.
The Course: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), 7,340 yards, par 71. Not your typical Florida layout, the Copperhead winds through rolling, tree-lined terrain just north of Clearwater and is a favorite among many PGA TOUR players for its no-nonsense demands. Designer Larry Packard carved double doglegs on a pair of par-5s, putting a premium on positioning to reach the green in two, and the closing three holes make up the “Snake Pit” – two bruising par-4s sandwiched around the 215-yard 17th. Open in 1972, Innisbrook spent 24 years as site of the JC Penney team event pairing PGA TOUR and LPGA pros, then became a regular stop in 2000.
The Field: Henrik Stenson, felled by a stomach virus in Mexico, and triple 2016-17 winner Justin Thomas headline a field that features four of the top 15 players in the current world rankings and eight of the top 30. … No.12 Patrick Reed and No.15 Bubba Watson are the other top-15 players to commit. For Watson, it’s his first return to the Copperhead since 2011. … Lee McCoy, fourth last year as an amateur, is back on a sponsor exemption. The former Georgia standout grew up at Innisbrook and estimates he’s played the Copperhead more than 1,000 times. … Other exemptions went to Zach Wright, who won the Valspar Collegiate last year while at LSU, and former Texas standout Beau Hossler. … Brian Gay is set for his 17th Innisbrook start in the tournament’s 18-year history. He missed the 2015 edition with injury.
Storylines: After lasting just 11 holes at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, Stenson hopes a return to Florida puts him back on track. Until flying to Mexico, he hadn’t finished outside the top 10 anywhere since the FedExCup Playoffs. In his first visit to Innisbrook, he was one shot out of a 2015 playoff won by Jordan Spieth. … Watson, a Florida native who recently moved back to Pensacola, ends a six-year hiatus from the event. He’s tasted success at Innisbrook before, placing third in 2010. … Luke Donald had four straight top-6 finishes from 2011-14, including his 2012 victory, but the past two years haven’t found him inside the top 20. … Not only has the tournament never had a back-to-back winner, just three of 16 defending champs have finished in the top 10 a year later. Jordan Spieth tied for 18th in his defense last year.
Television Coverage: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC).