Retief Goosen has won the Valspar Championship twice (in 2003 & 2009), so it was no surprise when he cared a one-under-par 70 at Innsbrook Resort on Thursday to share eighth in the first round of this year’s tournament.
The two-time US Open champion is one of the best putters on the circuit and the tricky greens of the Copperhead course at Innsbrook suit him. He began the round on the 10th hole, where he made bogey, but quickly got to scoring with a pair of birdies at the 13th and 14th to turn one-under.
On the first hole he drained a 14-foot birdie putt for a move to two-under, but slipped coming home and settled for 70.
Goose is the leading money-maker in Valspar Championship history, having gathered over $S2-million there. He was set to increase his record after rising to a share of eighth after the first round.
Charl Schwarzel shot a level-par 71 for a share of 25th place, followed by Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace in a share of 46th place on one-over-par.
Leading the way were Keegan Bradley, Charles Howell III, and Ken Duke, who each carded 67.