Casey goes for 3-peat at Innisbrook against top-heavy field

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Paul Casey, of England, hits on the 12th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Paul Casey is going for his third straight victory at the Valspar Championship, a feat difficult enough that only eight times in the last 40 years has a player won the same tournament at least three times in a row.

It didn't take long for Casey to take a stab at who else was on the list.

“Tiger, Tiger, Tiger?” he said.

Now repeat.

Tiger Woods owns six of those eight occasions. He won three in a row at Firestone twice (1999-2001 and 2005-07), along with the Memorial (1999-2001), and he won four in a row at Bay Hill (2000-03) and Torrey Pines (2005-08). The other was a World Golf Championship that was held at three courses (Harding Park in 2005, The Grove in England in 2006, Doral in 2007).

The other two players were Stuart Appleby at Kapalua and Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic.

It's no small task.

Now throw in a field that includes Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the top two players in the world, along with Patrick Reed to round out three players from the top 10.