Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair team for opening 15-under 57 at the QBE Shootout
Between the two, Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair have combined to play just 14 competitive rounds since the PGA Championship, with just two of those coming from Stricker, who was a little busy with the Presidents Cup this fall. Despite such few reps, they both brought their A-game Friday at the QBE Shootout, posting a 15-under 57 in the scramble format at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
The pair began their day with five straight birdies on the Gold Course, before finally making a par at the par-5 fifth, which likely felt like a bogey in the scramble format. But that would be their only mistake of the round, which included eight more birdies and an eagle at the par-5 17th. O'Hair gave all the credit to the putting of Stricker, who is arguably the best with the flat stick on the PGA Tour.
"Steve is just automatic from 15 feet and in," O'Hair said. "It just was a matter of getting it somewhat close. The game plan was I was going to putt first and he was going to get a good look at it and 95 percent of the time there's a chance it's going to go in. It's pretty easy when you have a partner that putts like that."
Both guys have won the Greg Norman-hosted event before with different partners, Stricker in 2009 with Jerry Kelly and O'Hair in 2012 with Kenny Perry. While it's an unofficial money event on the PGA Tour, the combined $820,000 payout is enough incentive for O'Hair and Stricker to try and win it for a second time in their careers.
One back is the duo of Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele, who shot a 14-under 58 with 12 birdies and an eagle. Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker are in solo third after shooting a 13-under 59.
For the second straight season, Lexi Thompson is in the field as the only woman, playing alongside Tony Finau. They sit six shots back in a tied for ninth in the 12-team field at nine under.