NAPLES, Fla. (November 12, 2019) – Tournament Host Greg Norman announced today ten additional player commitments and the 12 two-person teams for the QBE Shootout which returns December 11-15 to Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
The 24-person field features nine players who won during this past season and a total of 80 career PGA TOUR and LPGA victories as well as eight of the top 50 players in the world. There are also eight first-time participants in the annual event.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner, winner of this year’s WGC—Dell Technologies Match Play, are two of the ten players now in the field. Also competing are 2019 Valero Texas Open winner Corey Conners, reigning Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion Ryan Palmer, former Australian PGA Championship winner Harold Varner III, Kevin Chappell who earlier this fall became the 10th player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59, six-time PGA TOUR winner Charley Hoffman, four-time TOUR winner and twice a Shootout champion Sean O’Hair, three-time TOUR champion Ian Poulter and six-time TOUR winner Rory Sabbatini.
This year’s QBE Shootout will also feature nine new teams competing for the $3.5 million purse. The three returning teams are Harman and Kizzire as defending champions, Horschel and Snedeker who played in 2018 and the return of the team of Graeme McDowell and Poulter, who were paired together in 2008.
Lexi Thompson will be playing for the fourth straight year as the QBE Shootout is the only PGA TOUR event to have a female professional compete each of the last four years. This year she will be paired with O’Hair, who won the QBE Shootout with two different partners, Steve Stricker and Kenny Perry.
“We are pleased to round out the field with such a quality group of players and equally thrilled with the compelling teams we’ve been able to put together. These dynamic duos comprised of young guns, recent TOUR winners and established veterans are sure to create an exciting three-days of competition,” Tournament Host Greg Norman said.
Friday’s first round will be broadcast live by Golf Channel from 12:00-2:00 p.m. and on Golf Channel Digital from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Over the weekend, the final two rounds will be live on Golf Channel from 12:00-4:00 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.
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 four-ball on Sunday.
For the latest QBE Shootout news and information, visit the official tournament website at www.qbeshootout.com, like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/qbeshootout and follow us on Instagram @QBEshootout.
Below is a snapshot of the 12 teams:
Brian Harman—Patton KizzireThis Sea Island, GA team won by a stroke last year, marking the fifth consecutive year the champions have won by either one or two strokes. They will attempt to be the first team to successfully defend their title since 2001 and the first to win back-to-back at Tiburón Golf Club.
Charles Howell III—Bubba WatsonTeaming up for the first time but have combined for 14 appearances, with Howell playing for the 11th time. Over the past two seasons this team has combined for four PGA TOUR victories. Best finish for both at the QBE Shootout is second, Howell with Rory Sabbatini in 2012 and Watson with Greg Norman in 2007.
Billy Horschel—Brandt SnedekerTwo past FedExCup champions make up this team, playing together for the second consecutive year in the Shootout. Snedeker won the season-long competition in 2012 and Horschel in 2014. Combined this twosome owns 14 career PGA TOUR titles.
Viktor Hovland—Matthew WolffTwo rookies to the Shootout and on TOUR. Teammates at Oklahoma State that won the 2018 NCAA National Championship. Wolff won the 3M Open in only his third start as a professional in July following a storied amateur career that included winning the 2019 NCAA individual title. Hovland was low amateur at both the Masters Tournament and U.S. Open this year. He turned professional after the U.S. Open and set a PGA TOUR record with 19 straight rounds in the 60s.
Graeme McDowell—Ian PoulterThis European team finished ninth the last time they played together in 2008. McDowell picked up his fourth career TOUR victory this year at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. Poulter’s last win in the U.S. was at the 2018 Houston Open. Combined the two some has won 32 times on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour.
Charley Hoffman—Kevin KisnerThese two friends will be paired for the first time but have been consistent participants at the Shootout since 2015 and 2016, respectively. Kisner won this year’s WGC—Dell Technologies Match Play after finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson the previous year. Hoffman tied for third at the Shootout with Gary Woodland last year and Kisner’s best finish was fourth with Kevin Chappell in 2016.
Sean O’Hair—Lexi ThompsonO’Hair, a two-time winner of the Shootout, will be the third partner of Thompson, who will be playing in her fourth event here. Her best finishes were a T6 in 2017 and a T7 in 2018, both with partner Tony Finau. O’Hair is a four-time winner on TOUR and Thompson has accumulated 11 victories on the LPGA, including this year’s ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Ryan Palmer—Harold Varner IIIAnother of the nine new teams featured at this year’s event. Both will be playing in their second QBE Shootout. This is the first start for Palmer since 2014 and second consecutive for Varner, who finished sixth with partner Bubba Watson last year. Palmer last played with Jimmy Walker and finished ninth.
Corey Conners—Andrew PutnamBoth picked up their first career TOUR victories in the past two years with Putnam winning the 2018 Barracuda Championship and Conners the 2019 Valero Texas Open. Last season, Corey Conners led the TOUR in Greens in Regulation (73.06%), average Proximity to the Hole (32’6”) and Fairway Proximity (28’5”).
Jason Kokrak—J.T. PostonBoth are first-time participants in the QBE Shootout. Poston claimed his first TOUR victory at the end of the regular season at the Wyndham Championship and Kokrak has finished among the top ten six times in the last two years, including a tie for 8th at the WGC—HSBC Championship.
Rory Sabbatini—Kevin TwaySabbatini will be playing in his tenth Shootout and Tway his first. Tway picked up his first career TOUR victory at the 2018 Safeway Open and Sabbatini has accumulated six career titles on TOUR. Sabbatini finished runner-up in both 2011 and 2012 with two different partners in the QBE Shootout.
Chez Reavie—Kevin ChappellThird appearance for Chappell and first for Reavie, who won The Travelers Championship this season. Chappell has twice played with Kevin Kisner and their best finish was a fourth in 2016. In September, Chappell, the 2017 Valero Texas Open champion, shot the 10th round of 59 in PGA TOUR history at The Greenbrier.
The QBE Shootout has experienced significant growth since QBE’s support in 2017.
Jones continued, “The ongoing commitment to continually enhance the tournament is one of the many reasons we are proud to extend our partnership. The addition of Live Fest this year is a great example of that.”
Live Fest, a premier music event, will take place on Saturday, December 14th and will be headlined by Grammy award-winning acts Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker. They will be joined by Jordan Davis, Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2018, as well as the popular local Ben Allen Band. The concert, to be staged outdoors on the spacious driving range at Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, will start following the second round of the QBE Shootout at 4:00 p.m. and conclude at 10:00 p.m.
The QBE Shootout fan experience includes the Roofclaim.com Spectator Bridge connecting the 1st hole and 9th hole at Tiburón Golf Club. The Roofclaim.com Spectator Bridge introduced last year, allows fans to enjoy the practice area and 1st tee action then efficiently move to the prime viewing area between holes 8, 9, 17 & 18.
Activities on the grounds include the Family Fun Zone and the Naples, Marco Island & Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau Family Golf Clinic which returns Friday, December 13th at 4:00 p.m. Saturday will be designated the Lee Health—Health and Wellness Day and will begin with the Lee Health 5K at 7:00 a.m. followed by complimentary Fairway Yoga presented by Donation Yoga, Naples on the 18th fairway from 8:00-8:45 a.m. Additionally, health & wellness vendors will be engaging with tournament spectators throughout the day on Saturday in the Hotwire Expo Village.
QBE North America, an Integrated Specialist Insurer, is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the largest insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE NA reported Gross Written Premiums in 2018 of $4.7 billion. QBE Insurance Group's 2018 results can be found at www.qbe.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 31 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. The actual terms and coverage for all lines of business are subject to the language of the policies as issued. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's. Additional information can be found at www.qbe.com/us, or follow QBE North America on Twitter.
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