PGA Tour: QBE Shootout Preview

Golfer lines up shot

We take a look at the QBE Shootout which is set to get underway on 8 December Tiburon Golf Club. 

This will be the final event on the PGA Tour for 2017. Formerly known as both the Shark Shootout and Franklin Templeton Shootout, this will be the 29th edition of this idiosyncratic team event hosted by Greg Norman.

The event will consist of 12 paired groups, with the unique distinction of having the top ranked US women’s player: Lexi Thompson. The organizers have used their noggin in relation to Thompson by teaming her up with one of the most prodigious drivers on tour: Tony Finau. It will add an added element of intrigue for an event with a largely post-season feel.

QBE Shootout | 8 December - 10 December | Tiburon Golf Club, Florida

The Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club is a traditional tree-lined course. The pine trees line rolling fairways with water on play on numerous holes. That should add to the drama considering the team format. The pro-am will occupy the first two days of the event, with the tournament proper commencing on Friday. The scramble format will be utilized on Friday, with a modified alternate shot format being used on Saturday. This will clearly help accommodate Lexi Thompson, though the better ball format on Sunday could be interesting if Finau starts to spray his tee-shots.

Harris English and Matt Kuchar are clear favourites- and there’s no doubt why they are so short. Twice winners of the event in 2016 and 2013, the dynamic duo also finished runner-up in 2014 and 2015. Norman has manged to tempt 15 of the world’s top 50 players in the world rankings, with former major champions such as Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson adding some razzmatazz to proceedings.

Past Winners
2016: Harris English and Matt Kuchar
2015: Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker
2014: Jason Day and Cameron Tringale
2013: Harris English and Matt Kuchar
2012: Sean O’Hair and Kenny Perry

To Win Outright
English and Kuchar 4/1, Chappell and Kisner 13/2, Harmon and Perez 15/2, Hoffman and Johnson 15/2, Bradley and Steele 9/1

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Value Bets

Kevin Kisner and Kevin Chappell- To Win 13/2
You would be hard pressed to find an argument against this pairing- and with only 12 sides, all the prices- English and Kuchar aside- look reasonable. The two Kevin’s represent two of the most consistent players on tour. Chappell won the Valero Texas Open while Kevin Chappell won a month later at the Dean and Deluca. Kisner was fourth at the RSM Classic recently after a tremendous third place finish at the Tour Championship. This just looks like a solid side with very few weaknesses.

Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson- To Win 9/1
This one is something of a wildcard. I have very little basis for choosing either players on form, but Bubba is a two time Masters champion while Snedeker has featured repeatedly in the Major fray. Both of these players have battled to string coherent rounds together, but their talent is obviously there for all to see. They will benefit from a format that will elevate their strengths and perhaps minimize their weaknesses. Added to that is the fact that Snedeker won this event in 2015 with Jason Dufner.

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker- To Win 20/1
This one is for value, both of the financial and sentimental kind. This years’ President’s Cup winning captain Steve Stricker teams up with Sean O’Hair for a partnership that will need to rely on their wits. But just look at the history. Striker won here with his great friend Jerry Kelly in 2009, while Sean O’Hair won with Kenny Perry in 2012. Stricker and Kelly went on to finish second last year while O’Hair and Perry finished fifth. So both players have won this event before and have decent recent form.

The Team to Beat- Brian Harmon and Pat Perez- To Win 15/2
For me, this has to be the partnership to beat. Both Brian Harmon and Pat Perez have won on the PGA Tour and both are in scintillating form. Lefty Brian Harmon almost had a Major Championship breakthrough this year and has been in outstanding form. Harmon has had three top eights in his last three starts. Pat Perez recently won the CIMB Classic and is currently in the form of his life. I think that Harmon’s metronomic accuracy and Perez’s power should dovetail into an excellent combination.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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