PGA Tour: QBE Shootout Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Our golf writer previews the QBE Shootout which will take place at the Tiburon Golf Club in Florida between 7 and 9 December.



QBE Shootout | 7 - 9 December | Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida

The QBE Shootout is the final instalment of the PGA Tour wraparound section and FedEx Cup points will not be available. The ambience is quite relaxed as the players are generally in various stages of shutdown mode. It is a team event consisting of 12 two-man teams that will take place over three days. Formally known under guises such as the Shark Shootout and the Franklin Templeton Shootout, this event was first staged in 1989. The event is the brainchild of host Greg Norman and will take place this year at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. This course was designed by the Great White Shark himself and will offer spectators an intriguing mix of team golf.

The first round will follow the scramble format, otherwise known as ambrose or best shot. Both players will tee off, with the pair deciding on which tee shot was better. Then both players will complete the hole from within a club-length of that better shot. The second day features greensomes, otherwise known as modified alternate shot. So basically it is like foursomes except both players tee off- allowing the players the opportunity to decide which ball they will alternate with. The final day sees traditional fourballs at play. Clearly, the first two days will mitigate Lexi Thompson’s obvious handicap in distance from the tee. Finau and Thompson will need to perform well on those two days as the final fourballs day will certainly expose her lack of distance, putting a huge onus on Finau to perform.

Defending champions Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair will be looking to defend their title at an event that has traditionally been kind to those of a more refined vintage. Perhaps the younger guys tend to go into cruise control without FedEx Cup points at stake. Or perhaps it’s the slightly more convivial atmosphere that proves conducive to the older folks. That being said, there are some fairly imposing younger sides looking to strike this week. Bryson DeChamebeau will partner fellow perfectionist Kevin Na in a formidable looking unit. Cameron Champ looks like the next big thing on tour and will have the metronomic Kevin Kisner alongside him to balance out his power game. The Finau-Thompson duo will likely garner much of the fanfare while Horschel and Snedeker look a dangerous duo. This should provide a welcome tonic from the sometimes monotonous rhythms of stroke-play.

Past Winners
2017: Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker
2016: Harris English and Matt Kuchar
2015: Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker
2014: Jason Day and Cameron Tringale 
2013: Harris English and Steve Stricker

To Win Outright
Cameron Champ and Kevin Kisner 11/2 | Bryson DeChamebeau and Kevin Na 11/2 | Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker 6/1 | Charles Howell III and Luke List 7/1 | Charley Hoffman and Gary Woodland 15/2

Value Bets

Tony Finau and Lexi Thompson – To Win 14/1
This is obviously a combination that will garner significant attention due to the gender mashup. Thompson and Finau managed a respectable fourth last year, though Thompson did struggle to cope with playing from the men’s tees. But Thompson should feel emboldened this week in the wake of the LPGA Tour Championship. Thompson won the season-ending event on this very course. And little has to be said about her partner this week. Yes, Finau has earned some notoriety as a player with stage fright. The Ryder Cupper may have once again let victory slip away on Sunday in the Bahamas, but he should thrive here in an environment that will be far more relaxed.

The Team to Beat- Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker- To Win 6/1
This has to be the standout pair for me. They just make perfect sense on paper. Horschel’s ball-striking abilities should dovetail beautifully with Snedeker’s formidable putting. Horschel won the Zurich Classic in April alongside Scott Piercy, highlighting his ability to work in a pair. Horschel has finished fourth in this event with three different partners while he managed a career-best third alongside Charley Hoffman in 2016. Snedeker won this event in 2015 and will be looking to double up with a resurgent Billy Horschel.

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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