Defending champ Senden and Scott sparring in Florida this week

2015 Valspar Championship Preview: Leaderboard: TV Times

John Senden 595 AO

JOHN SENDEN is the defending champion at the US PGA TOUR’S Valspar Championship this week but compatriot Adam Scott is a strong favourite for the title.

Senden won what was just his second TOUR victory at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Tampa last year by a stroke over Kevin Na and returns quietly confident despite not having set the golfing world on fire recently.

“It is exciting turning up and knowing I can get it done,” Senden said of a tournament that has also seen him runner-up twice.

“I love the golf course. It is challenging and it asks you to bring your best, so I’m excited to be able to play knowing I don’t need to fear it.

“It came down to believing in my short game and that belief helped me to a career year.

“A lot of years I had been playing over here and striking it so well but not getting enough from my game, but I finally realised to switch on the belief across my game and know I can beat these guys.”

Scott was sporting a short putter for the first time in four years last week in his season debut at the WGC event in Doral and actually improved his putting statistics in his T4 finish.

He’s aiming on refining his competitive game leading up to the US Masters in four weeks with possibly two further starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Texas Open.

“I think it’s a good little stretch for me to challenge myself into a bit of form into Augusta,” said Scott, who catapulted over Jason Day back into the World No.4 ranking.

“I need to play. I need to be in that competitive form and last week was a good chance but maybe lack of competition just didn’t get me over the line on the back nine.

“This week I’m going to have to stay patient. It’s a little tighter golf course and I’ll just really have to rein it in and challenge the swing a little bit.

“The next few weeks are about getting a bit of form going and hopefully be good for Augusta.”

Scott will play in a featured grouping that includes 2014 Australian Open winner Jordan Spieth and 43 year old Padraig Harrington, who won the Honda Classic recently to break a six year drought.

Other Aussies lining up this week include Robert Allenby, Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman, Greg Chalmers and Rod Pampling.

Adam Scott reflects on his first week with conventional putter: Video

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Valspar Championship Leaderboard

Valspar Championship Leaderboard

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