It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
McDowell and Lowry come up just short as Stricker wins Shootout at 50
Presidents Cup skipper Steve Stricker returned to the winner's circle after capturing the QBE Shootout with compatriot Sean O'Hair.
So What Happened at the QBE Shootout?
Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair have both won this tournament before – O’Hair with Kenny Perry in 2012 and Stricker with Jerry Kelly in 2009 – and they added a second title, combining for a total of 26 under to beat Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry by two in Florida. The tournament is an unofficial money event.
The Americans closed with a 64, helped by an eagle from O’Hair at the 17th (see below), to get the job done as the Irish duo, who were four under on the front nine, were unable to find enough birdies coming home. Just over two months ago Stricker was captaining the victorious Presidents Cup side.
McDowell gave himself chances and, although he found one at 15 to pull it back to one behind, the 50-year-old Stricker and his cohort were too strong. McDowell signed off with another birdie to secure second spot by two from Pat Perez and Brian Harman.
How do you shoot a 57, albeit in a scramble? Ideally pair someone who bombs it, like Sean O’Hair, with someone who rolls in a lot of putts, like Steve Stricker. The Presidents Cup skipper might now be 50 but he is still well capable of knocking them in on the greens and the pair birdied the first five, had 12 in the first 15 and then signed off eagle and a chip-in Stricker birdie. Fifteen under and a first-round lead over Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele.
”He hits it so far down the fairway that it gives us the ability to go in there with some really short irons. At times, I stood on the tee and I’m like, ‘Why am I even hitting the tee shot because this guy’s going to be 40 yards ahead of me and hitting in two or three less clubs,” explained Stricker.
O’Hair repaid the compliment: ”Love watching this guy roll the ball, so much to learn for me.”
For the second straight year Lexi Thompson joined the men and this year she teamed up with Tony Finau. Last year Thompson played with Bryson DeChambeau, only Annika Sorenstam had played in it before with Fred Couples in 2006, and they made a strong move on Saturday with four birdies to finish to go into the final round only three adrift.
But the Sunday better-ball was too much to ask, Thompson was playing a course around 600 yards longer than normal and they finished in a tie for fourth.
When you’re one ahead with two to play… Sean O’Hair at 17.