PALM HARBOR – Expectations are that Innisbrook's Copperhead Course will be filled close to capacity Saturday and Sunday now that Tiger Woods is in contention at the Valspar Championship. Select-a-day tickets remain on sale at valsparchampionship.com and at the tournament admission gate. Tickets are no longer for sale at Publix stores. Ticket packages, such as the one for the Hooters Owls Nest, are sold out.
"We know there are Publix out of tickets, and we've never had Publix out of tickets before," tournament director Tracy West said Friday. "So we have stopped sales of tickets at Publix."
Parking has always been a problem. Advanced online parking for Saturday at the three main lots, Green, Red and Silver, is sold out. Cash parking for $10, with shuttle busing to the course, is available on the southeast corner of Keystone and East Lake roads and at Great Bay Distributors, 2750 Eagle Ave. N, St. Petersburg. And there is a Yellow Cab/Uber drop off area at the AMC Theaters on Klosterman Road.
West didn't have exact numbers, but she said the crowd size will be up from the 21,000 over the weekend last year. It could reach about 30,000 each weekend day.
"We had 112,000 people last year, and it's going be at least 140,000, maybe 150,000," West said. "The crowds are larger. I know they were up 40 percent on Thursday from last year."
Her advice to those wanting to see Tiger? Get there early and have a strategy.
Day 2 at the #ValsparChampionship: Tiger Woods' crowd follows him to the portable toilet. @TomWJones describes the scene: https://t.co/EwKjRF8a6c #ValsparChamp #PGA #PGATour #PGA2018 @ValsparChamp @PGATOUR #WhoMissedTheCut— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) March 10, 2018
Ryan Palmer shot the low round of the day, 5-under 66. That vaulted him from 1 over after the first day to tied for second at 4 under. Palmer birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine.
"(Thursday) I drove it so poorly and survived," Palmer said. "(Friday) was night and day. I drove it probably one of the better rounds the last couple of weeks, and I made some putts."
Quote of the day
"I actually want him to play brilliant golf, want him to win again, because I want these kids to see what we dealt with for a long, long time." – Paul Casey, about Tiger Woods. Casey was tied for second with Woods at 4 under.
Numbers of the day
9, 10: Shots by which Tiger Woods beat playing partners Jordan Spieth and Henrick Stenson, respectively.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Valspar Championship winner, missed the cut of 3 over with a two-day total of 5 over. Rory McIlroy also missed the weekend at 5 over. Tampa's Jimmy Stanger (4 over) and St. Petersburg's Jack Maguire (6 over) also missed the cut.