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QBE Shootout Preview

By: | Mon 06 Dec 2021 | Comments

MATT KUCHAR and and Harris English broke a number of their own QBE Shootout records in a runaway victory at Tiburon Golf Club 12 months ago.

Kuchar and English became the first team to win the event three times, finishing at 37-under 179 to break the mark of 34 under they set in 2013, and won by nine strokes to top their 2013 record of seven.

“That is laughable,” Kuchar said. “It’s hard to fathom just how good of golf that was. It’s funny, as a player you stay in the moment pretty well and don’t think too much about it.”

Five strokes ahead after an 11-under 61 in the second round in modified alternate-shot play, Kuchar and English shot a 60 in better-ball play. English closed birdie-eagle-birdie.

“I didn’t want to put too much thought into us having a five-shot lead coming in,” English said. “I kind of wanted to put more into seeing what we could do, trying to break the record.”

Also the 2016 winners, they had the eagle and 10 birdies in the final round.

“The show Harris put on during the back nine was just awesome,” Kuchar said. “I think he pulled me aside after 14 and said, `I think we need two shots to set the new mark.′ I said, `We’ve got four chances.′ And he went ahead and went birdie-eagle-birdie to close it out. It was fun to watch.”

Westwood Poulter

Defending champions Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Tway tied for second at 28 under with the all-rookie team of Lanto Griffin and Mackenzie Hughes and first-round leaders Kevin Na and Sean O’Hair. Sabbatini and Tway shot 61, Griffin and Hughes 62, and Na and O’Hair 64.

Five other players have won the event three times: Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Brad Faxon, Scott McCarron and Kenny Perry.

Steve Stricker has withdrawn from the QBE Shootout due to a nagging, non-covid related virus and will be replaced by Will Zalatoris, who will be paired with Sean O’Hair.

This will be Zalatoris’ first appearance in the QBE Shootout. He is one of five players in the field for the first time. Zalatoris finished runner-up in his debut start at The Masters Tournament and was tied for sixth at the 2020 U.S. Open. He began the season with no status on the PGA Tour but earned full membership on the back of eight top-10 finishes and was named Rookie of the Year.

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.

The field comprises 12 pairs and it is difficult to see much beyond Sam Burns and Billy Horschel. Burns won twice on the PGA Tour in 2021, while Horschel won the WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay and the BMW PGA Championship.

Other notable pairings are Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson and Lexi Thompson, Kuchar and English and Australian pair Marc Leishman and Jason Day. This is, of course, a fun event and nobody will be taking it too seriously.

Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography

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Tags: PGA Tour FedEx Cup


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