Hovland-Wolff among new teams set for QBE Shootout
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Written by Staff @PGATOUR
NAPLES, Fla. – The 12 two-man teams for next month’s QBE Shootout have been finalized, with rising PGA TOUR stars Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff among the new partnerships.
“We are pleased to round out the field with such a quality group of players and equally thrilled with the compelling teams we’ve been able to put together. These dynamic duos comprised of young guns, recent TOUR winners and established veterans are sure to create an exciting three days of competition,” tournament host Greg Norman said.
The QBE Shootout is set for Dec. 11-15 at Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
The 24-person QBE Shootout field features nine players who won during this past season and a total of 80 career PGA TOUR and LPGA victories, as well as eight of the top 50 players in the world. There are also eight first-time participants in the annual event.
There are nine new teams competing for the $3.5 million purse. The three returning teams are defending champs Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire; Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker, who played in 2018; and the return of the team of Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, who were paired together in 2008.
LPGA star Lexi Thompson will be playing for the fourth straight year. This year she will be paired with Sean O’Hair, who won the QBE Shootout with two different partners, Steve Stricker and Kenny Perry.
Friday’s first round will be broadcast live by Golf Channel from Noon-2 p.m. ET and on Golf Channel Digital from 2-4 p.m ET. Over the weekend, the final two rounds will be live on Golf Channel from Noon-4 p.m. ET, both Saturday and Sunday.
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 four-ball on Sunday.
Below is a snapshot of the 12 teams:
Brian Harman-Patton Kizzire
This Sea Island, Georgia, team won by a stroke last year, marking the fifth consecutive year the champions have won by either one or two strokes. They will attempt to be the first team to successfully defend their title since 2001 and the first to win back-to-back at Tiburon Golf Club.
Charles Howell III-Bubba Watson
Teaming up for the first time but have combined for 14 appearances, with Howell playing for the 11th time. Over the past two seasons, this team has combined for four PGA TOUR victories. Best finish for each player at the QBE Shootout is second -- Howell with Rory Sabbatini in 2012 and Watson with host Greg Norman in 2007.
Billy Horschel-Brandt Snedeker
Two past FedExCup champions make up this team, playing together for the second consecutive year. Snedeker won the season-long competition in 2012 and Horschel in 2014. Combined this twosome owns 14 career PGA TOUR titles.
Viktor Hovland-Matthew Wolff
Teammates at Oklahoma State that won the 2018 NCAA National Championship. Wolff won the 3M Open in just his third start as a professional in July following a storied amateur career that included winning the 2019 NCAA individual title. Hovland was low amateur at both the Masters and U.S. Open this year. He turned professional after the U.S. Open and set a PGA TOUR record with 19 straight rounds in the 60s.
Graeme McDowell-Ian Poulter
This European team finished ninth the last time they played together in 2008. McDowell picked up his fourth career TOUR victory this year at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. Poulter’s last win in the U.S. was at the 2018 Houston Open. Combined the twosome has won 32 times on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour.
Charley Hoffman-Kevin Kisner
These two friends will be paired for the first time but have been consistent participants at the Shootout since 2015 and 2016, respectively. Kisner won this year’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson the previous year. Hoffman tied for third at the Shootout with Gary Woodland last year and Kisner’s best finish was fourth with Kevin Chappell in 2016.
Sean O’Hair-Lexi Thompson
O’Hair, a two-time winner of the Shootout, will be the third partner of Thompson, who will be playing in her fourth event here. Her best finishes were a T6 in 2017 and a T7 in 2018, both with partner Tony Finau. O’Hair is a four-time winner on TOUR and Thompson has accumulated 11 victories on the LPGA, including this year’s ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Ryan Palmer-Harold Varner III
Another of the nine new teams featured at this year’s event. Both will be playing in their second QBE Shootout. This is the first start for Palmer since 2014 and second consecutive for Varner, who finished sixth with partner Bubba Watson last year. Palmer last played with Jimmy Walker and finished ninth.
Corey Conners-Andrew Putnam
Both picked up their first career TOUR victories in the past two years with Putnam winning the 2018 Barracuda Championship and Conners the 2019 Valero Texas Open.Last season, Corey Conners led the TOUR in greens in gegulation (73.06%), average proximity to the hole (32 feet, 6 inches) and fairway proximity (28 feet, 5 inches).
Jason Kokrak-J.T. Poston
Both are first-time participants in the QBE Shootout. Poston claimed his first TOUR victory at the end of the regular season at the Wyndham Championship and Kokrak has finished among the top ten six times in the last two years, including a tie for eighth at the WGC-HSBC Championship.
Rory Sabbatini-Kevin Tway
Sabbatini will be playing in his tenth Shootout and Tway his first. Tway picked up his first career TOUR victory at the 2018 Safeway Open and Sabbatini has accumulated six career titles on TOUR. Sabbatini finished runner-up in both 2011 and 2012 with two different partners in the QBE Shootout.
Chez Reavie-Kevin Chappell
Third appearance for Chappell and first for Reavie, who won the Travelers Championship this season. Chappell has twice played with Kevin Kisner and their best finish was a fourth in 2016. In September, Chappell, the 2017 Valero Texas Open champion, shot the 10th round of 59 in PGA TOUR history at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.