Twelve teams announced for the Franklin Templeton ShootoutDecember 10, 2013
NAPLES, Fla. -- Franklin Templeton Shootout host Greg Norman has paired a collection of the PGA TOUR’s most dynamic players into two-man teams as the 25th annual Shootout returns for a 13th time to Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Dec. 9-15.
The 24-man field features Nos. 7-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, 2012 FedExCup Champion Brandt Snedeker and 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner, respectively.
"As we celebrate our 25th year, it is only fitting that so many of the game’s greatest personalities will come together as partners to compete in southwest Florida and in front of an international television audience,” Norman said. "I am excited to play with Jonas Blixt. If the first two years of his career are any indication, Jonas is one of several young players in the field with a bright future."
Defending champions Sean O’Hair and Kenny Perry, the recently crowned 2013 Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Champion, will defend their title as the 12 teams battle for a piece of the $3.1 million purse.
Below is a snapshot of the 12 teams seeking this year’s title:
Jonas Blixt & Greg Norman: This pairing represents Norman’s 12th partner in what will be his 24th start. In 1998, the host was victorious with Steve Elkington and is looking for his second Shootout title. Blixt, a two-time TOUR winner including The Greenbrier Classic this year, was born in Sweden, attended Florida State University and now lives in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Fans may remember he and Rickie Fowler wearing matching orange clothes at The Barclays when they were paired together.
Sean O’Hair & Kenny Perry: Last year, this team’s 31-under par total was just two strokes shy of tying the 54-hole record in Naples. Perry became the fifth player to win the Shootout three times and the third player to do it with three different partners. The defending champions will attempt to do something that has not been accomplished since 2004 -- win back-to-back titles.
Ian Poulter & Lee Westwood: These Ryder Cup teammates, who have never been playing partners in that event, will be paired together for the first time at the Shootout and it will be the first time two Englishmen have competed as a team in tournament history. Poulter won the 2010 Shootout with Dustin Johnson. For Westwood it will be his first appearance. Combined, this twosome has a 30-16-6 record in the Ryder Cup. Poulter’s individual record is 12-3-0. Poulter is ranked 17th in the world and Westwood is 23rd.
Matt Kuchar & Brandt Snedeker: Another new team. But neither gentleman is a stranger to the Shootout. Snedeker is competing for the second consecutive year and it will be Kuchar’s fifth appearance. Both players have won six times on the PGA TOUR and currently they are back-to-back in the World Rankings -- Kuchar at No. 8 and Snedeker at No. 9. And, both are multiple winners in 2013.
Jerry Kelly & Steve Stricker: This marks the sixth consecutive year the 2009 champions will play together. Kelly and Stricker are both from Madison, Wisconsin. They have combined for 15 PGA TOUR victories– Kelly three and Stricker notched his 12th title in 2012. Kelly has won two Shootout titles in seven appearances. His first title came in 2006 with Rod Pampling. Stricker is currently ranked seventh in the world.
Jason Dufner & Dustin Johnson: Could be a team to watch. Both have enjoyed tremendous success as individuals this year and will be a team for the first time at the Shootout. Johnson won three years ago with Poulter and Dufner finished third last year playing with Vijay Singh. Dufner was also 3-1-0 in this year’s Presidents Cup, his first time competing in the match.
Chris DiMarco & Billy Horschel: Another new team that features a six-time Shootout participant in DiMarco and Horschel, the newcomer. Both played collegiate golf at the University of Florida. DiMarco is a three-time winner on TOUR while Horschel picked up his first TOUR victory this year at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Mark Calcavecchia & Chad Campbell: Although these two have a combined 25 appearances at the Shootout, it is the first time they have been paired together. Calcavecchia, a two-time Shootout winner, will be playing in his 20th this year. The Champions Tour is where Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, spends a majority of his time, where he has a pair of career victories in the age 50 and over league.
Rory Sabbatini & Scott Verplank: This represents the first time these two have played together in the Shootout. Playing with Charles Howell III last year Sabbatini finished second by one shot. Verplank has also been a runner-up at the Shootout, finishing second with Justin Leonard in 2006.
Graham DeLaet & Mike Weir: These two Canadians will be playing together for the first time. DeLaet was on the International Team in this year’s Presidents Cup. His 3-1-1 record matched Jason Day for the team’s leading point earner. Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, also has Presidents Cup experience. He has played on five International Teams and has a 13-9-2 record which is fourth best all-time for that team.
Charles Howell III & Justin Leonard: Another new pairing that will be featured in this year’s Shootout. Leonard, the 1997 British Open champion, will be playing in his ninth Shootout and is seeking his first victory. Both have finished second with different partners. Howell’s runner-up finish is the freshest, having come last year with partner Sabbatini.
Retief Goosen & Freddie Jacobson: For Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion, it will be his first appearance while Jacobson is filling in for Boo Weekley -- who withdrew due to deaths in the family.
Throughout its history, the Shootout has included many of golf’s greatest players. As a premier PGA TOUR post-season event, the Franklin Templeton Shootout will once again feature a modified alternate-shot format during the first round, a better ball Saturday and a final-round scramble. This year, Golf Channel will televise Friday and NBC will broadcast the weekend competition.
Current Alphabetical List of Participating Professionals
Jonas Blixt Charles Howell III
Kenny Perry Mark Calcavecchia
Ian Poulter Chad Campbell Dustin Johnson Rory Sabbatini Graham DeLaet Jerry Kelly Brandt Snedeker Chris DiMarco Matt Kuchar Steve Stricker Jason Dufner Justin Leonard Scott Verplank Retief Goosen
Greg Norman Mike Weir Billy Horschel Sean O’Hair
Sean O’Hair--Kenny Perry
Jonas Blixt--Greg Norman
Ian Poulter--Lee Westwood
Matt Kuchar--Brandt Snedeker
Jerry Kelly--Steve Stricker
Jason Dufner--Dustin Johnson
Chris DiMarco--Billy Horschel
Mark Calcavecchia--Chad Campbell
Rory Sabbatini--Scott Verplank
Graham DeLaet--Mike Weir
Charles Howell III--Justin Leonard
Retief Goosen--Freddie Jacobson