Power Rankings: 2015 Valspar Championship


The PGA Tour continues the Florida swing with the Valspar Championship, the 17th event of the wraparound season. A full field will tackle the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook this week, where the winner will need to successfully navigate the "Snake Pit."

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John Senden won this event a year ago by one shot over Kevin Na. Here are 10 players to watch in Tampa:

1. Adam Scott: The Aussie showed little to no rust last week in Miami, notching a T-4 finish in his first start of the year. Now equipped with a short putter, Scott returns to Innisbrook where he appeared in command two years ago before stumbling to a T-30 finish. On a course that rewards strong ball-striking, expect that result to improve this time around.

2. Jim Furyk: Furyk has cracked the top 15 in each of his three starts this season, including a T-12 showing last week at Trump National Doral. A winner here in 2010, Furyk lost in a playoff at Innisbrook in 2012 and has finished inside the top 20 each of the last five years at this event.

3. Jordan Spieth: Spieth has been quietly lurking on the fringe of leaderboards for more than a month now: T-7, MC, T-7, T-4 and a T-17 finish last week. He notched a top-10 finish at this event in his 2013 debut and chased it with a T-20 finish last year. Each of his eight rounds have gone for 72 or better on the tricky Copperhead Course.

4. Luke Donald: Donald is seemingly automatic at a few PGA Tour venues, and Innisbrook is certainly one of them. The Englishman won a playoff here in 2012, has tied for fourth each of the last two years and hasn't finished worse than T-6 in four career starts. While he finished in the middle of the pack at Doral, he did tie for seventh the week prior at PGA National.

5. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been his typically solid self this season: six top-25 finishes in seven starts, with back-to-back near-misses at Sony and Humana. He ranks fifth on Tour in the all-around ranking and now returns to Tampa, where three of his last four appearances have netted top-15 finishes.

6. Patrick Reed: Reed missed the cut in his lone Valspar appearance back in 2013, but much has changed in the two years since. Reed has won four times on the PGA Tour, including earlier this year in Hawaii, and he nearly won two weeks ago at PGA National. Reed only has one finish outside the top 30 this season and is 16th on Tour in total strokes gained.

7. Henrik Stenson: The Swede is making his first trip to the Copperhead Course, but he brings with him plenty of momentum after a T-4 finish at Doral. Stenson has thrived on prior ball-striking venues like Firestone Country Club, so if his tee-to-green game carries over from Miami the world No. 3 could contend again.

8. Jason Dufner: Dufner slimmed down in the offseason, but his game has yet to return to the form that won him the 2013 PGA Championship. That could change this week in Tampa, where Dufner has six straight top-30 finishes and was T-10 back in 2012. He was T-17 at Honda and bounced back after an opening-round 79 at Doral.

9. Sangmoon Bae: Bae lost in a playoff at Innisbrook in 2012 and he finished T-14 last year after a final-round 67. A winner in the season-opening event in California, Bae just missed a playoff at the Northern Trust Open and eight of his 12 rounds on the par-71 Copperhead Course have been at or below par. 

10. Joost Luiten: Like Dufner, the Dutchman opened with 79 at Doral but he played his next 54 holes in 1 under. Luiten plans to try to earn enough money in the next few weeks to have a PGA Tour card for next season, and he took a big step toward that goal with a T-11 finish earlier this month at PGA National after closing with rounds of 67 and 69 on the Champion Course.