PGA Preview - QBE Shootout Wraps up PGA Calendar Year
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The 2018 PGA Calendar year is wrapping up which means Greg Norman is throwing his annual party known as the QBE Shootout. Twenty-four PGA Tour players are paired up to form twelve two-man teams that will battle it out over the course of three days playing a variety of formats. This year the odds for the top-spot are close as Bryson Dechambeau and teammate Kevin Na (+500) are only slight favorites over Cameron Champ and Kevin Kisner (+550).
The notable sleeper pick is probably Charles Howell and Luke List (+800). Howell has played exceptionally over the last several months including a win at the RSM Classic a few weeks ago. List has yet to notch a PGA win, but he did have five top-ten finishes to round out 2018 while jumping from 45th to 26th in FedEx Cup rankings. Here’s a complete rundown of the odds from Intertops.
Bryson Dechambeau & Kevin Na
Cameron Champ & Kevin Kisner
Billy Horschel & Brandt Snedeker
Charley Hoffman & Gary Woodland
Pat Perez & Kyle Stanley
Charles Howell & Luke List
Emiliano Grillo & Graeme McDowell
Harold Varner III & Bubba Watson
Sean OHair & Steve Stricker
Tony Finau & Lexi Thompson
Patton Kizzire & Brian Harman
Luke Donald & Andrew Landry
Bubba Watson and his teammate Harold Varner III are not receiving much love from oddsmakers at +1000. Watson could catch fire at the QBE as he’s coming off a nice 2018 season where he seemed to find his game once again with three Tour wins. He went winless in 2017 but still carded five top-ten finishes.
What makes the QBE Shootout is the format that Greg Norman has set for the event. Instead of the normal four rounds with a cut, Norman has figured out a way to add a spark by making the event one that everyday golfers can connect with. Consider it three days and 54 holes of playing around with your buddies at the local course with the loser picking up the beer tab!
• Round One – The Scramble: This is the format which is also known as best-shot or best ball. Both players on the team take a shot, then they choose which one is the better player. They pick up the other ball and both play the next shot within a club length of where the best shot landed. One note, the ball can’t be placed any closer to the hole. The shot is taken from the side or behind the original ball’s landing spot. • Round Two - Greensomes: Some call this the Scotch Foursome or Alternate shot. Each player tee’s off, then they choose the better shot. The other ball is picked up and they take alternate shots. Strategy comes in on who takes what turn as one player may be better at putting while the other has a hot hand that day with approach shots or wedges. • Round Three – The Better Ball: Also called Best Ball or Fourball. The players on each team play their own ball for the whole round. The teams score for a hole comes from the player on the team that had the lowest number of strokes on a hole. If List has a birdie and Howell cards a par, then their team score for that hole is the birdie.
The Gold Course by the Numbers
Greg Norman is a genius! He has hosted this tournament since 1989 on courses that he’s designed and which he’s a part of. Nothing like the PR gained for your venue when you have great PGA Players knocking around for three days with national TV coverage. And, many consider the Gold Course at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida, is one of Norman’s best designs.
The facility has regained its great reputation under the Troon company which took over management. The facility has two courses, the Black Course and the Gold Course, totaling 36 holes. Fairways are mostly flat with some gentle rolling and lined with pine trees, pristine bunkers and several water hazards come into play. Shell waste areas are used as well. The Gold Course, which opened first, offers up four par-five holes, ten par-four holes, and four par-three holes.
The par-four No. Four can be considered one of the Gold Courses signature holes. It plays along a lake the entire length of the fairway to the left forcing a perfect tee-shot into the landing area. An approach shot towards the small green carries over water with a massive bunker to the rear that will swallow balls that don’t stick to the green.