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Copperhead Course is deceivingly difficult

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – There was less wind, more sun and generally better scoring conditions Friday at the Valspar Championship.

That didn’t mean Innisbrook played any easier.

The scoring average in Round 2 (72.594) was only slightly better than during the opening round (72.646), when the high temperature didn’t crawl above 70 degrees and the wind gusted to 30 mph on the par-71 Copperhead Course. The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over 145.

So, what gives?

“You think you can come out here and shoot 5, 6, 7 under, but it’s hard,” said Harris English, who shot 69 on Friday. “You can get squirrely winds out here, and there are small greens and small fairways. It’s tough to get it close to the hole. You’re left with a lot of in-between shots and crosswinds.”

Robert Garrigus, who leads at 7-under 135, said the main reason for the higher scores was the tightly mown fairways.

“Around the greens they mowed them down tight and it’s kind of wet,” he said. “That’s very, very difficult. You almost have to hit it a little thin on purpose. That’s hard to do when you’re trying to play the exact shot that you want.”