Saturday's roundup: English, Kuchar win Shootout

Associated Press

Naples, Fla. — Harris English and Matt Kuchar won the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Saturday, holding off Wisconsin friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly by a stroke at Tiburon.

Harris English, left, and teammate Matt Kuchar walk up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout Saturday at Tiburon Golf Club.

English and Kuchar also won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the last two years.

“It’s a thrilling event to come out with a win, amazing feeling,” Kuchar said. “I think it’s just such a fun partnership we’ve had. We’ve had such a good run. To have our last four events together, to have our track record be first, second, second, first is quite amazing.”

English eagled the par-5 17th and they closed with a 7-under 65 in better-ball play to finish at 28 under.

“We had some good action there and it kind of came down to the last couple holes and kind of set up perfect on 17 for me,” English said. “Really reachable par 5 and hit a really good drive off the tee and knew Kuch was in really good position so I could play really aggressive. Hit a really good 8-iron right where I wanted to and made about a 12-footer.”

“That’s the difference in these events,” Kuchar said. “Pulling out some shots like that, getting an eagle, getting that two-shot swing, that’s a big deal. This event comes down to you need to make birdies, you need to make some scores under par, and to do it on the 17th hole today and the position and the situation we were in, it was a battle. We weren’t making a huge number of birdies. It’s not like we were just battling with birdies, it was a fairly challenging day. But for Harris to come through and eagle 17 and give us that one-shot lead.”

Stricker and Kelly also shot 65.

“We just couldn’t get that momentum,” Stricker said. “A shot here or there. Jerry played great. Wish I could have helped him out a couple more times. I had some putts at it I didn’t make, but it was fun. Harris made an eagle. I knew somebody was going to do something there. It was just playing too short. He hit two great shots there at 17 and that was the difference really.”

English and Kuchar each earned $385,000. They opened with a 57 on Thursday in the scramble round and had a 66 on Friday in modified alternate shot.

Charley Hoffman and Billy Horschel were third at 26 under after a 61.

Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau tied for last at 16 under after a 67. Thompson became the second woman to compete in the event, following Annika Sorenstam with Fred Couples in 2006.

David Duval, Nick Karavites lead Father/Son Challenge

David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot an 11-under 61 to take the first-round lead in the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

They birdied Nos. 1, 3-7, 13-16 and 18 to open a one-stroke lead over Fred and Taylor Funk in the two-day, 20-team scramble event at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club’s Grande Lakes.

“To go out and have fun and hit good golf shots, make a couple putts, that’s always enjoyable, but it’s secondary to walking around the golf course with the entire crew,” said Duval, who made only one competitive start in 2016 — missing the cut in the Sanderson Farms Championship.

“We just scrambled,” added Karavites. “If I hit a bad shot, he hit a good shot.”

Team Duval has been preparing for the tournament since receiving an invitation two months ago.

“Anyone you talk to will tell you that this is the best week of the year,” Duval said. “If you’re fortunate enough to be asked to come play, invited to come play, you don’t pass it up.”

The Funks got off to a fast start with birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 and an eagle at 3, where Taylor — a member of the University of Texas golf team — hit a 3-wood from 265 yards to 30 feet and made the putt. They added birdies at Nos. 5, 7, 10, 11, 15 and 18 for a 62.

“Birdie, birdie, eagle start,” the elder Funk said. “That’s a dream start. We played really good. I counted three really good opportunities that we missed and probably another two that we could have made.

The Funks tied for second last year after a one-hole, four-team playoff won by Lanny and Tucker Wadkins.

Retief and Leo Goosen, Raymond and Robert Floyd, Stewart and Connor Cink, Bernhard and Christina Langer, and Mark and Shaun O’Meara were tied for third at 63.

Fan favorites John and Little John Daly shot 64.

“It was a blast to play,” Daly said. “To see a 13 year old be clutch like that was great when his daddy was all over the place. It was pretty cool.”

The Wadkins opened with a 66. Jack and Jack Nicklaus II shot 71.

Cabrera Bello, Brazel share 2-shot lead at Hong Kong Open

Sam Brazel of Australia shot a 3-under 67 in the third round of the Hong Kong Open to share a two-stroke lead with Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Cabrera Bello lost his three-shot lead at the Hong Kong Golf Club after four bogeys and a double bogey. The Spaniard recovered with key birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 for a par-70 round — and 11-under 199.

“The best thing is I’m still in it, I’m still leading alongside Sam,” Cabrera Bello said.
Brazel, who plays on the Asian Tour and is yet to win a big tournament, bogeyed the first hole but then had an error-free round to stay in contention.

“I haven’t been in the top position before,” Brazel said. “I’m just going to go and do what I did today. Just play one shot at a time and try and enjoy the atmosphere out there.”

English golfer Tommy Fleetwood (67) is two off the pace on 9 under, a shot ahead of American David Lipsky (66).
Defending champion Justin Rose finished on 1-under.

“Drove the ball exceptionally well today, feel like I have all the full power back,” said Rose, who withdrew after the first round of the Hero World Challenge earlier this month. “I think this has been the perfect week for me, sort of active rehab.”