Yet another Tiger Woods return from injury had golf fans incredibly excited about the year ahead. The possibility of seeing perhaps the best golfer of all time competing in the biggest tournaments against the current crop of superstars is tantalising to say the least.
With so much discussion about Tiger’s fitness and the future, it was easy to forget there was a tournament going on in Albany. In truth, the Hero World Challenge is little more than an exhibition and the same can be said about this week’s tournament, the QBE Shootout.
Hosted by Greg Norman, the QBE Shootout has been going since 1989. Although there is over $3 million up for grabs, this is about as relaxed as televised golf gets. Starting on Friday, teams of two compete over three different formats. The first day is a scramble, the second is greensomes and the final round is a better ball. The tournament’s format coupled with the quality players taking part ensures low scores are the norm so there will be plenty of birdies and eagles to enjoy for those in attendance.
Irish Pairing to Dovetail Nicely
Although the pressure will be very much off at Tiburòn Golf Club, the QBE Shootout is still a tournament this calibre of golfer will be very keen to win. As well as the potential for a nice Christmas bonus, the habit of winning is one that’s very important to get into.
Winning is a habit that Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry have fallen out of recently. Having contended at the highest levels of the game, neither men are happy with their recent results and they’ve both spoken about redoubling their efforts.
As well as having the burning desire to win again, both McDowell and Lowry are well suited to the relaxed atmosphere of the QBE Shootout. Hailing from either side of the Irish border, these two have that relaxed Irish charm about them and they’re both capable of playing well when having fun on the course. They should also be able to dovetail well together and the format will allow them to take chances, an approach that could pay off at 11/1 with Ladbrokes.
Berger and Woodland Can Overpower the Competition
The accurate, patient pairing of Harris English and Matt Kuchar are bidding to become the first partnership to win the QBE Shootout three times. Their previous strong performances make them the favourites with the bookies but it could be worth going the other way and backing the big hitting duo of Daniel Berger and Gary Woodland.
This is the sort of tournament that could easily be won by any team that puts their foot down early doors and that’s certainly within Berger and Woodland’s capabilities. They both like to play aggressive golf, taking on narrow landing zones and tucked pins and this format plays to their strengths. They’ll make mistakes along the way but will be rewarded when their risk taking results in birdie putts so back Berger and Woodland each way at a best price of 10/1 with Coral.