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World number one, Dustin Johnson was unable to dethrone Paul Casey as the later emerged triumphant at the Valspar Championship for the second year in a row at Palm Harbor.

Paul Casey

Paul Casey poses with the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort – Copperhead Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Englishman Paul Casey became the first player to retain the Valspar Championship as he finished one stroke ahead of the chasing pack at Palm Harbor.

Casey, who started the final round just one shot clear of world number one Dustin Johnson, signed for a 72 and that proved enough to edge out Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Kokrak by the narrowest of margins.

The Englishman had the same thin cushion that Casey had over Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed when he won at Innisbrook last year.

Meanwhile, playing partner Johnson fell out of contention after an untidy three-over-par 74 as the two leading contenders shot their worst scores of the week.

Casey’s struggle for victory appeared to be faltering when he carded three bogeys across five holes on the front nine, his birdie at the par-five 11th got him back to level par for the round and he quickly offset a bogey at the 13th with another gain on the next hole.

A nervy three-putt on the penultimate green could have been more damaging than it turned out to be, with Casey’s closing tap-in par getting the job done in Florida.

The capricious winds and firm putting surfaces made it difficult as the best struggled to cope, with Johnson failing to make a final-round birdie for the first time in 31 tournaments, the 2018 Ryder Cup star kept his cool as he cruised to victory for the second year in a row at Palm Harbor.

By Olukayode Oniwinde

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