NAPLES, Fla. (November 7, 2017) – Tournament Host Greg Norman announced today the 12 two-person teams for the QBE Shootout which returns to Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, December 6-10.
The 24-person field features 15 of the top 50 ranked players in the world who have amassed 14 victories in the past year. Eight past champions, including two winning teams, are also in the field and six players will be competing in the $3.3 million event for the first time.
This year’s tournament will feature nine new teams and three repeat pairings. Defending champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar will attempt to become the first team to win the QBE Shootout three times, Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele were victorious in 2011 and Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner will pair up for the second year in a row. Lexi Thompson, the first female to play in multiple Shootouts, will team with Shootout rookie Tony Finau.
“With the combination of nine new and exciting teams, strong repeat duos and outstanding defending champions, this year’s competition should be stellar. It will be exciting to watch these dynamic pairings as they work together in an effort to win the 29th QBE Shootout,” Tournament Host Greg Norman said.
Sunday’s final round will be broadcast live on NBC from 2-4 p.m. The first two rounds will be carried live by Golf Channel as the event returns for the 17th year to Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
“The twelve teams assembled for the QBE Shootout will no doubt offer an entertaining and compelling three rounds of competition for our customers, Southwest Florida golf fans and our worldwide television audience,” Russ Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of QBE North America said.
The criteria for players qualifying for the 24-person field was adjusted this year to accurately reflect today’s PGA TOUR standards. The Shootout’s field is comprised of its defending champions playing as a team, the top 12 committed professionals from the final 2017 FedExCup standings and 10 special exemptions; a minimum of four which will come from the top 40 on the PGA TOUR Career money list.
The QBE Shootout will once again feature a scramble format during the first round, a modified alternate shot format on Saturday and a final-round better ball on Sunday.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is the tournament’s primary charitable beneficiary. Additionally, to support the relief efforts of Hurricane Irma, the QBE Shootout has recently launched a hurricane relief fund to support the local recovery efforts. Since 1989, the Shootout has raised more than $13 million for charitable causes.
New for this year’s tournament will be a Friday night concert featuring the popular Ben Allen Band from 5-8 p.m. on the Tiburón clubhouse lawn. The Family Golf Clinic returns and will be held Saturday, December 9th immediately following play on the practice facility.
Tickets are currently on sale with prices starting at $25 for grounds tickets. The popular Shark Pass Booklets are available for $110.
Below is a snapshot of the 12 teams:
Harris English-Matt Kuchar
Since being paired together these two have finished 1st in 2013, 2nd in 2014, 2nd in 2015 and 1st in 2016, each earning $1,255,000 total in the last four years. Last year they became the third team in tournament history to win twice. Their seven-shot margin of victory in 2013 was the largest in tournament history.
Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
Two returning individuals who are playing together for the first time. Snedeker won the Shootout in 2015 with Jason Dufner. Snedeker, the 2012 FedExCup Champion is now paired with another major championship winner. These two have 17 PGA TOUR career victories combined as well as significant Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup experience.
Charley Hoffman-Zach Johnson
Two of the 18 players returning to compete but will be partners for the first time. They have a combined 16 career wins on the PGA TOUR—Johnson with 12 and Hoffman with four. Hoffman participated in his first Presidents Cup this fall. Johnson, the two-time major championship winner, has been on a total of nine Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams.
Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
One of three repeat teams this year and both winners during the 2017 season. Finished fourth last year, four strokes behind the champions. Chappell had a breakthrough season with his first TOUR win at the Valero Texas Open and first appearance in the Presidents Cup. Ironically, Kisner’s first TOUR victory at the 2015 RSM Classic was by six strokes over Chappell, the runner-up. Kisner’s victory this year was at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
Both individuals have been consistently ranked among the top-five in Driving Distance on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour respectively. Finau averages around 321 yards and Thompson around 274. Finau is new to the Shootout while Thompson returns after playing with TOUR rookie Bryson DeChambeau last year. Finau, 28, and Thompson, 22, are the youngest team in the field and are tied for the best combined world ranking.
Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
A combined five years of experience at the QBE Shootout but paired together for the first time. Both have two career victories on the PGA TOUR. Berger, the 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, recorded his best individual finish here with a third place in 2015 and Woodland’s best was a fifth in the same year.
Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
A pair of SEC rivals with Dufner, Auburn, and Horschel, Florida ties. Dufner is a major championship winner and Horschel a FedExCup champion. A team for the first time but this twosome has a combined nine years of experience in the Shootout. Dufner’s best was a victory in 2015 with Brandt Snedeker. Horschel, who will celebrate his 31st birthday during tournament week (December 7), has never finished outside the top five, including a pair of third place finishes, one of those last year with Charley Hoffman.
Brian Harman-Pat Perez
Two new participants in the QBE Shootout and both winners during the 2016-2017 TOUR season. Perez, winner of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba last November and the CIMB Classic last month is familiar with Harman. Harman, holed out a 28-foot birdie putt on the final hole to prevent a playoff with Perez and Dustin Johnson to win the Wells Fargo Championship this year. Along with Thompson and Finau this duo’s combined world ranking is the best in the field.
Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
Another pair of first-time participants in the tournament and another pair of individuals who both won this season. Henley picked up his third career title at the Shell Houston Open in the spring and Stanley earned his second career title with a playoff win at the Quicken Loans in July. Only one year apart, both were tremendous collegiate players. Stanley won the 2009 best collegiate golfer honor and Henley did the same in 2010.
Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker
These two veterans of the QBE Shootout will be playing together for the first time. O’Hair has played six times prior to this year and won in 2012 with Kenny Perry. Stricker will be playing in his tenth Shootout—the most by any individual in the field—having won also with long-time partner Jerry Kelly in 2009. Last year, Stricker and Kelly finished second.
Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
A reunion for this team. The 2011 QBE Shootout champions have not played together since finishing 7th in 2012 during their title defense. Bradley had five top-10 finishes during the 2016/2017 season and was runner up at the 2017 CIMB Classic. Steele enjoyed an outstanding past year with two victories, including last month’s Safeway Open and is happy to reunite with his major championship friend this year.
Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
These two Irishmen and good friends represent the only international team in the tournament this year. McDowell, one of six major championship winners in the field, will be making his sixth appearance and first since 2015. His best finish was a second with another Irish friend Darren Clarke in 2010. Meanwhile, Lowry, the winner of a World Golf Championship in 2015, will make his Shootout debut. By the way, the last international team to win the Shootout was the all-Australian team of Greg Norman and Steve Elkington in 1998.
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