In a day that saw Jordan Spieth trying to fend off Adam Schenk and Tommy Fleetwood’s bids to become a first-time PGA Tour winner, it was Taylor Moore who benefited from a rough finish by the other three to lift the Valspar Championship 2023 trophy and earn his first win on the main U.S. tour.
On an unseasonably cool final day of winter in suburban Tampa, Florida, Moore got hot on the back nine, finishing with three birdies plus another on the ninth hole to finish with a 10-under 274 for the tournament.
Schenk, meanwhile, hit an errant tee shot on 18 and bogeyed to finish at nine under. Spieth bogeyed both 16 and 18 to finish two shots behind Moore. Fleetwood bogeyed the par-4 14th to also finish two shots back at -8.
It all led to Moore earning the victory while he was on the range preparing for a playoff.
“I might have been under the radar to some people watching, but I felt like I was in the golf tournament from the time I teed off today and was just excited to control what I could control and get it done,” Moore said.
Schenk, who wrapped up a stretch of 10-straight tournaments played as he and his wife prepare to have a baby, lamented the finishing hole—especially since she flew down to Tampa Bay while eight-months pregnant to see her husband try and win for the first time on the PGA Tour.
“Wish I could have lightly hit somebody and stayed where I had a chance to get to the green, but it did not, and I didn’t deserve it,” Schenk said. “It stinks to get so close.”
Moore opened the day tied for fourth but literally snuck up on everyone, including Spieth. The 2017 winner here didn’t even know there was another contender until Moore birdied 15 and 16 to join Spieth and Schenk on top of the leaderboard.
“I thought it was me and Adam. I thought it was down to us two,” Spieth said. “I was thinking it was Tommy one back of us with a few holes to go and so I thought we could still kind of control it from the last group. Then I saw 10 (under) was posted walking off 16 green.”
Wyndham Clark finished in fifth at -6.
Going into the tournament, the big story was whether Sam Burns could be the first golfer to threepeat on the PGA Tour since Steve Stricker in 2009-11, but a 73 on Friday put an end to those hopes. Burns, however, did rally for a 67 on Sunday to rise from 25th to sixth on the final leaderboard.
Matt Wallace, Cody Gribble, and Webb Simpson tied for seventh, and Justin Thomas was among six golfers who tied for 10th.
With the Florida Swing wrapped up, the PGA Tour heads to Texas for the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. The 64-golfer tournament is a designated event, so the vast majority of the world’s top golfers will be participating. The field includes Scottie Scheffler, who is the defending champion and has won two of his last four events coming into this year’s event.
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