Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair battled through cold and windy conditions to win the QBE Shootout at Tiburon GC in Florida by two shots from Irish pairing of Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell.
Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair opened the QBE Shootout with a sparkling 57 in round one and followed that up with a 69 on day two which saw them tied through 36 holes with Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry.
But midway through the front nine on a chilly final day, Stricker and O’Hair found themselves two shots behind. The Americans rallied though and reeled off three straight birdies before the turn to reclaim the top position.
They held on to their slender advantage until O’Hair made an eagle on the 17th to seal the deal. They won by two from Lowry and McDowell with Brian Harman and Pat Perez a further two shots back in third.
3 Talking points from the QBE Shootout
1 – This was a second QBE Shootout win for both Stricker and O’Hair, although their previous titles came with different partners. 50-year-old Stricker hadn’t played a great deal in recent months owing to his captaincy of the American Presidents Cup team but he showed no signs of rustiness. He had travelled to Naples (where he has a house) a week before this tournament to sharpen his game.
2 – The only international pairing in the field – Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry played well to finish second and each will go into their festive break just over a quarter of a million dollars richer. Even McDowell admitted he had felt the cold on the final day at Tiburon. But the Northern Irishman is made of stern stuff.
“I had my sweater on for the first two holes today, and I made a couple bad swings and was like: sweater off,” he said.
McDowell bunker tips:
3 – Lexi Thompson was the only woman in the QBE Shootout field and she and partner Tony Finau performed superbly well to close with a 66 and finish the event in a tie for fourth. That was quite an achievement over a course measuring some 7,400 yards.
“Definitely tested my whole game overall,” she said. “The distance that these guys play, especially in this wind—I was hitting 4-irons, 6-irons, hybrids.”
Tiburon GC, Naples, Florida
Purse: $3,300,000 Par: 72
1 Sean O’Hair (USA) 57 69 64 190 $410,000
1 Steve Stricker (USA) 57 69 64 190 $410,000
2 Shane Lowry (Ire) 62 64 66 192 $257,500
2 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 62 64 66 192 $257,500
3 Brian Harman (USA) 62 68 64 194 $155,000
3 Pat Perez (USA) 62 68 64 194 $155,000
T4 Brendan Steele (USA) 58 70 67 195 $108,333
T4 Keegan Bradley (USA) 58 70 67 195 $108,333
T4 Daniel Berger (USA) 61 70 64 195 $108,333
T4 Gary Woodland (USA) 61 70 64 195 $108,333
T4 Tony Finau (USA) 63 66 66 195 $108,333
T4 Lexi Thompson (USA) 63 66 66 195 $108,333
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage