It’s the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year this week. 24 players head to Tiburon Golf Club in Florida for the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
The Franklin Templeton shootout is a two-man team event featuring three rounds played in differing strokeplay formats. On Thursday the pairs play a scramble, on Friday it’s alternate shot and on Saturday it’s better ball. Hosted by Greg Norman, this will be the 28th time the tournament has taken place.
In last year’s event Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker were champions and they return this year to defend their title.
The 24-player field features a number of leading figures in the game and there are some interesting pairings.
Tour rookie Bryson DeChambeau teams up with LPGA star Lexi Thompson. This will be the second time an LPGA player has participated in this event, after Annika Sorenstam paired Fred Couples back in 2006.
Harris English and Matt Kuchar play together again. They have enjoyed a great record in this event over recent years. They were champions in 2013 and runners up in both 2014 and 2015. The young pairing of Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas could be a strong one, as could the British duo – Russell Knox and Luke Donald.
Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida boasts two Greg Norman-designed courses – Gold and Black. The Franklin Templeton shootout is held over the Gold. Lined by pine trees, rolling fairways travel past water hazards and waste areas. This is a natural feeling layout.
The weather forecast for the week looks pretty good although rain could be a factor on Friday
Venue: Tiburon GC, Naples, Florida
Date: Dec 8-10
Course stats: par 72, 7,288 yards
Purse: $3,100,000 Winners: $385,000
Defending Champion: Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker (-30)
Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas – These youngsters have already proven they have what it takes to succeed on the world stage. Thomas has been on fine recent form and was winner in October’s CIMB Classic.
Luke Donald and Russell Knox – The Brits have a point to prove in a pairs format, particularly Knox who missed out on a Ryder Cup pick earlier this year. The Scot has won twice this year on the PGA Tour.
Luke Donald’s short game secrets:
Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner – They should be able to remember each others’ name at least. But they’ve both played some excellent golf in recent months and should be suited to this format.
Key hole: 17th. A reachable par-5 of 534 yards, this is a hole where the pairings will be looking to pick up shots. The secret to this hole is to stay left. Water lurks down the right side and a large bunker complex protects the front of the green. If bailing out on the approach, there’s a large collection area on the left side and, from there, it’s a relatively straightforward pitch onto the green.