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Proof in the pudding: Players love Innisbrook

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On the PGA Tour's Florida Swing, Innisbrook can be an afterthought. The King has Bay Hill, Jack has PGA National and, now, the Donald owns Doral.

To Tour players, however, Innisbrook is a great Sunshine State venue. In a survey conducted by Golf World, the venue ranked ninth among 52 on the PGA Tour.

2010 champion Jim Furyk said Saturday night, 'I always look forward to this tournament.'

'I would say this golf course, as long as we keep playing here, I'll keep coming back,' said Puerto Rico winner George McNeill.

World No. 2 Luke Donald summed the appeal: the Copperhead Course is a thinking man's course.

'You really have to have good course management around here,' he said Wednesday. 'A lot of placing of the tee shot rather than just standing up and hitting away. There's a lot of tactical stuff involved with this course.'

The gauntlet was laid down in 1970 by designer Larry Packard who, at 99 years old, still lives in the area.

'You watch the scores. Two-thirds, and these are the best players, they can't break par in four days. That means something,' Packard said this week, according to Patch.com.

The future of Tampa's PGA Tour stop is in jeopardy as eyewear maker Transitions will not renew as sponsor. Organizers will need to find a fifth title sponsor since 2002 to keep the event in its prime March date. Tampa-based Shriners Hospitals was approached for the spot last year but declined, opting to remain in Las Vegas.

Two-time winner Retief Goosen hopes someone will step up to keep this event alive.

'This is such a great golf course, and hopefully we'll find a good date and a new sponsor for it. The players like coming to play this course,” he said.