November 7 2012
The Franklin Templeton Shootout, which will be played Dec. 5-9 at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., features an unusual scenario this year - two "defending" champions.
Not only will Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele defend their 2011 title but Ian Poulter, who starred in the recent European Ryder Cup victory, and his partner Dustin Johnson, who were unable to defend theirs from 2010, will be among the 12 teams competing in the 12th renewal of the popular event.
"I think it adds a little bit of spice to it," said the tournament's host, Greg Norman, during a Wednesday conference call to announce the pairings.
Norman, who will play with his good friend Fredrik Jacobson, was extremely pleased with way the teams worked out for the event he called a "more relaxed version of the Ryder Cup." The format features a modified alternate-shot format during the first round, best-ball on Saturday and a final-round scramble.
"It felt like confetti coming out of the ceiling -- absolutely perfect," he said.
Vijay Singh and Jason Dufner will be making their Shootout debuts. "Vijay is probably the oldest rookie to ever turn up at the golf course," Norman said of the 49-year-old.
Good friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly are playing together for the fifth straight year. Another team features U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III and 2012 FedexCup champion Brandt Snedeker.
"It's a perfect set-up for them," said Norman, adding the two asked to play together. "Brandt since July, from the British Open, even though he faded at the end, I think that was a catalyst that made him think he could take it to the next level -- and he went on to win the TOUR Championship (presented by Coca-Cola."
Following is the complete roster of teams: Bradley/Steele, Jacobson/Norman, Johnson/Poulter, Kelly/Stricker, Dufner/Singh, Stewart Cink/Carl Pettersson, Love/Snedeker, Bud Cauley/Rickie Fowler, Justin Leonard/Scott Verplank, Charles Howell III/Rory Sabbatini, Mark Calcavecchia/Mike Weir and Sean O’Hair/Kenny Perry.