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      Power Rankings: Valspar Championship

    • Webb Simpson is one of the more consistent performers on this week's host course. (Greenwood/Getty Images) Webb Simpson is one of the more consistent performers on this week's host course. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

    Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., a community on the northern edge of the Pinellas Peninsula west of Tampa, is celebrating the silver anniversary of its relationship with the PGA TOUR. In 1990-1999, it served as host of the JCPenney Classic, a team competition pairing one golfer from the PGA TOUR and LPGA. It then made its debut as an official event as the then-Tampa Bay Classic in 2000. The club's own member, John Huston, prevailed.

    After six editions were contested in autumn (2000, 2002-2006), it's been a staple of the Florida Swing in March during the FedExCup era. Last September, it was announced that Valspar, a global provider of paint and industrial coatings, inked a four-year agreement with the tournament, which is now known as the Valspar Championship.

    Innisbrook's Copperhead Course played as the most difficult par 71 in a non-major last season at +1.222 strokes to par. That's a five-year high. It features five par 3s and four par 5s, can stretch 7,340 yards and boasts roomy greens that average 8,900 square feet prepped to run at 11.5 on the Stimpmeter. In 2013, it ranked third-most challenging in par breakers (15.21 percent) and inside the top 20 in distance of all drives (268.7 yards; fourth), fairways hit (61.42%; 17th), greens in regulation (60.07%; ninth), scrambling (57.84%; 20th) and par-3 (T10), par-4 (T10) and par-5 (T5) scoring.

    The 16th, 17th and 18th holes, known collectively as the Snake Pit, averaged +0.637 to par as a trio last year. No. 16 extended its run to four straight editions as the track's hardest hole (+0.261), while 17 (fourth-hardest) and 18 (third-hardest) will give everyone in the field of 144 reason to brace coming in.

    While the tournament enjoys a landmark occasion this week, it also remembers Larry Packard. He designed all four courses at Innisbrook, including Copperhead in 1972. Packard died on Jan. 28 at the age of 101.

    Midweek rain and boomers should clear out by Thursday, but gusty winds and cool air will trail, so expect scoring conditions to be difficult in the opening round. A high in the low 60s is forecast. Breezes will abate as the tournament prolongs and it will warm into the mid-70s on the weekend. Rain in measurable amounts is not expected if it even falls.

    POWER RANKINGS: Valspar Championship

    1 Harris English Harris English

    Even without a T7 here last year, his 2013-14 slate alone demands this spot. He's 11-for-11 with six top 10s. Fourth in adjusted scoring.

    Even without a T7 here last year, his 2013-14 slate alone demands this spot. He's 11-for-11 with six top 10s. Fourth in adjusted scoring.

    2 Webb Simpson Webb Simpson

    The runner-up here in 2011 has no worse than a T17 in his last four visits. Rebounded from terrible start at Doral with a pair of 70s (T47).

    The runner-up here in 2011 has no worse than a T17 in his last four visits. Rebounded from terrible start at Doral with a pair of 70s (T47).

    3 Matt Kuchar Matt Kuchar

    Shared 36-hole lead at Doral before settling for a T13. Four top 10s this season. Top 15s in his last three visits to Innisbrook.

    Shared 36-hole lead at Doral before settling for a T13. Four top 10s this season. Top 15s in his last three visits to Innisbrook.

    4 Jason Dufner Jason Dufner

    Fresh off a personal-best T9 at Doral where he ranked T2 in fairways hit. Five straight top 30s at Copperhead, including a T10 in 2012.

    Fresh off a personal-best T9 at Doral where he ranked T2 in fairways hit. Five straight top 30s at Copperhead, including a T10 in 2012.

    5 Luke Donald Luke Donald

    Sandwiched his playoff win here in 2012 with a T6 (2010) and T4 (2013). Tied for 25th at Doral despite a second-round 82.

    Sandwiched his playoff win here in 2012 with a T6 (2010) and T4 (2013). Tied for 25th at Doral despite a second-round 82.

    6 Bill Haas Bill Haas

    Matched season-best with T6 at the WGC-Cadillac. Led the field in strokes gained-putting; ranked second in par-4 scoring. T16 here in 2010.

    Matched season-best with T6 at the WGC-Cadillac. Led the field in strokes gained-putting; ranked second in par-4 scoring. T16 here in 2010.

    7 Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth

    Closing 69 at Doral was one of just nine sub-70s on Sunday. Finally figured out the greens. T7 at Copperhead in debut last year.

    Closing 69 at Doral was one of just nine sub-70s on Sunday. Finally figured out the greens. T7 at Copperhead in debut last year.

    8 Jim Furyk Jim Furyk

    Since winning here in 2010, he's placed T13 (2011), P2 (2012) and T7 (2013). Under par in 14 of those 16 rounds, averaging 68.56.

    Since winning here in 2010, he's placed T13 (2011), P2 (2012) and T7 (2013). Under par in 14 of those 16 rounds, averaging 68.56.

    9 Gary Woodland Gary Woodland

    Copperhead is site of his breakthrough victory in 2011. T16 at Doral last week. Leads TOUR in total driving; 23rd in greens in regulation.

    Copperhead is site of his breakthrough victory in 2011. T16 at Doral last week. Leads TOUR in total driving; 23rd in greens in regulation.

    10 Will MacKenzie Will MacKenzie

    No top 25s among four cuts made in five starts at Copperhead, but has three top 10s this season, including a T6 in his last start at Honda.

    No top 25s among four cuts made in five starts at Copperhead, but has three top 10s this season, including a T6 in his last start at Honda.

    11 George McNeill George McNeill

    Arrives in terrific form (three straight top 20s) on cue for a course he loves. Ranks 36th in scrambling and 28th in adjusted scoring.

    Arrives in terrific form (three straight top 20s) on cue for a course he loves. Ranks 36th in scrambling and 28th in adjusted scoring.

    12 Jerry Kelly Jerry Kelly

    T9 in Puerto Rico was his third top 15 in five starts. Top 25s in three of his last four trips to Copperhead. Currently 25th in scrambling.

    T9 in Puerto Rico was his third top 15 in five starts. Top 25s in three of his last four trips to Copperhead. Currently 25th in scrambling.

    13 Chesson Hadley Chesson Hadley

    The rookie held the 54-hole lead in Puerto Rico and won by two. Three top 25s in his last four starts following attitude adjustment.

    The rookie held the 54-hole lead in Puerto Rico and won by two. Three top 25s in his last four starts following attitude adjustment.

    14 Justin Rose Justin Rose

    T34 at Doral while still battling shoulder tendinitis. He's 7-for-7 at Copperhead with one top 10 (T5, 2011) and another four top 25s.

    T34 at Doral while still battling shoulder tendinitis. He's 7-for-7 at Copperhead with one top 10 (T5, 2011) and another four top 25s.

    15 Kevin Streelman Kevin Streelman

    The defending champion also has a T10 in 2012. T25 at Doral where he led the field in par-3 scoring. Consecutive cuts made streak of 15.

    The defending champion also has a T10 in 2012. T25 at Doral where he led the field in par-3 scoring. Consecutive cuts made streak of 15.

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