Valspar Championship Featured Groups: Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas Paired Together With Joaquin Niemann

Published 04/27/2021, 1:29 PM EDT
Mar 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the sixth green during the first day of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports


The PGA Tour will stop at Innisbrook Resort for its last tournament in Florida for this season. The 2021 Valspar Championship is all set to take place from April 29-May 2, and the field is comprised of star-studded talent. The first two rounds will be enthralling as Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are part of the same group! 

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The Valspar Championship was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but the tournament sees a return to the Copperhead course amid restrictions in place. Paul Casey is currently the two-time defending champion, and the Englishman’s title will be on the line against a threatening field this year. 

Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas headline the featured groups for the first two rounds

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The PGA Tour released the list of featured groups for the upcoming Valspar Championship on Tuesday. It was indeed a surprise to see two of the World’s best players on the same group for the first 36-holes, but that’s just the way it is. 

Furthermore, Joaquin Niemann’s presence makes the group look extremely competitive. While Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Niemann won’t be directly competing against each other, it would indeed be a treat to watch them play together as a group. 

Will the World No.1 and the World No.2 playing together affect their performances any bit? While that is debatable, it is certain that Johnson and Thomas will enjoy being grouped together for the first 36-holes at the Valspar Championship. 

Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 10, 2021 Justin Thomas of the U.S. acknowledges the crowd after holing his birdie putt on the 3rd green during the third round REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have each made three appearances at the Valspar Championship in the past. Johnson achieved a sixth-place finish back in 2019 but faced the cut in his previous two attempts in 2008 and 2010. 

As for Justin Thomas, he recorded three straight starts at the Valspar Championship from 2015-17, and finished 10th, 18th, and MC (missed cut), respectively. How will these two golfers do this year? 

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Players that make up the rest of the featured groups

Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas will certainly garner all the headlines with their featured group, but there are other impressive ones as well. For starters, here’s a dynamic trio grouped at Innisbrook Resort this year: Max Homa, Viktor Hovland, and Sungjae Im.

Phil Mickelson will be making his first appearance at the tournament since 2004, and he’s grouped with Tyrrell Hatton and Patrick Reed. 

Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the final round REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Furthermore, Paul Casey, the only player to successfully defend the Valspar Championship, will play with Gary Woodland and Jason Kokrak in the first two rounds. 

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It is an impressive list of featured groups indeed. The Valspar Championship has always seen the world’s best golfers compete at the Copperhead course, and this year is no different. 

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Arjun Athreya

1817 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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