NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair shot a 15-under 57 in scramble play Friday to take the first-round lead in the QBE Shootout.
The 50-year-old Stricker, the winning U.S. Presidents Cup captain in October, chipped in for birdie on the par-4 18th. They also eagled the par-5 17th in gusty conditions on Tiburon’s Gold Course.
“It’s a really good pairing,” Stricker said. “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.'”
Stricker teamed with Jerry Kelly to win the 2009 title, and the Madison, Wisconsin, duo finished second last year behind Matt Kuchar and Harris English. O’Hair won in 2012 with Kenny Perry.
“It was a great day,” O’Hair said. “We had a lot of fun. Love watching this guy roll the ball, so much to learn for me. … Just really felt like it was a good pairing. We kind of ham-and-egged it pretty good today and it was fun.”
Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot 58, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson had a 59, and Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland and Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel followed at 61.
Kuchar and English were tied for ninth in the 12-team field at 63.
The teams will play modified alternate shot Saturday and close with better ball on Sunday.
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