Westchester Native Earns Second Place in Golf Tournament

Get away and tee it up where the PGA Tour pros compete, and where a Scarborough native earned second place.

It’s always exhilarating to play where the PGA Tour pros play, but it’s even more fun when one of the pros is a hometown prodigy like Cameron Young. The Scarborough native put on a great show at the recent Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, which made the always-exciting tournament even more so for Westchester fans.

Young and Peter Malnati battled to the very end of the final round, with Malnati finally putting it away with a birdie putt on the 17th hole and Young settling for his seventh second-place finish on tour.

golf
Photo by Dave Donelson.

The Copperhead Course may have been the real winner in the contest. A perennial favorite of PGA Tour players, the premier track of the four courses at the Palm Harbor, Florida, resort strongly resisted pressure from the long-ball hitters, holding Malnati to just 12 under par with Young two strokes behind. Last year, Copperhead ranked as the seventh most difficult stop on the PGA Tour.

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Perhaps the best feature of Copperhead is that you can play there, too. Feel free to tee it up from the tournament tips (7,300 yards) if you like, or play one of the other five (and more reasonable) tees ranging from 6,600 to 4,900 yards. Just like it does for the pros, though, the rolling terrain, gnarly rough, and tree-lined fairways will keep you honest regardless of which tees you choose.

The three vicious finishing holes—the justly named “Snake Pit”—will provide a memorable end to your round. The 16th, one of the toughest scoring holes on the PGA Tour, calls for a controlled fade off the tee to a tight fairway protected by water on the right. The par-three 17th is a long one-shotter with no good place to miss the green, while the final hole features a steep uphill approach to a blind green that will break your heart with its subtle breaks.

golf
Photo by Dave Donelson.

Copperhead is one of four golf courses at Innisbrook, one of the award-winning Salamander Hotels & Resorts. In addition to near-endless golf, the resort offers six swimming facilities, tennis, the luxurious Salamander Spa, and a variety of food and beverage options headlined by the newly renovated Packard’s Steakhouse located in the Copperhead clubhouse. All accommodations are condo-style rooms and suites with sizes and layouts suitable for singles, families, and groups of all sizes.

Golf is the prime attraction, of course, and the Copperhead isn’t your only option. A great way to start a golf trip at Innisbrook is with a warm-up round on the South Course, a straight-forward 6600-yard links-style layout with mostly-forgiving fairways and generally gentle greens. Another opening option is the North Course, nine holes of relaxing fun, perfect for a late-afternoon beverage-enhanced round or an entertaining way to introduce your kids to the game.

 

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Either way, you’ll be glad you started easy when you get to the Island Course, which many regard as a harder challenge than the Copperhead! The fairways are tight, the rough is high, the bunkers are deep, and the water is everywhere, as you might expect from the name. The Island Course, 7,200 yards from the tips, has hosted its share of prestigious tournaments, too, including several U.S. Open Qualifiers, NCAA Championships, and the LPGA Tour’s Legends Championship. It’s very much a strategic golf challenge, with many holes calling for shaped shots and smart course management.

Innisbrook also features a centrally located golf practice facility with double-ended range, short-game area, and daily golf clinics. There’s even a complementary full-swing clinic for junior golfers.

Innisbrook is easy to get to from the metro airports, including Westchester County Airport, and there are a multitude of other attractions in the Tampa Bay area, including Busch Gardens and Clearwater Beach.

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