The PGA Tour is on it’s winter break but there is still one more, non-official, tournament for us to enjoy before the New Year. The Franklin Templeton Shootout is a low key, but fun event which pits together 12 high quality pairs for a three day tournament with a unique format.
Greg Norman is the tournament host and it is his hope that his event will provide a relaxed atmosphere for the players who have made the trip to Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. The format certainly helps in that regard. On Thursday, the pairs will play a scramble, on Friday it’s a modified alternate shot format and then the winners are crowned after a round of better ball on Saturday.
Due to the different formats used over the three days, scoring is usually very good. That’s not to say that the host course at Tiburon is easy. The par 72 layout measures 7,288 yards from the back tee and requires full concentration levels throughout. That’s not always easy in such a laid back atmosphere so it pays to back quality players with something to prove. That was the case last season as Brandt Snedeker’s putting coupled with Jason Dufner’s desire to return to winning ways proved to be the winning combination.
Defending Champions Still Looking Good
This is far from a regular PGA Tour event with all the drama and pressure that they bring. But, both Snedeker and Dufner were able to take their win at last year’s Franklin Templeton Shootout and build upon it in the season that followed. Snedeker won with one of the rounds of the year at the Farmers Insurance Open while Dufner bagged the prestigious CareerBuilder Challenge.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for last year’s dynamic duo but Dufner placed inside the top 10 at the Tour Championship last time out while Snedeker has a win at the Fiji International and a solid showing at last week’s Hero World Challenge to provide plenty of confidence. At odds of 9/2 with Coral, Snedeker and Dufner are more than capable of defending their title.
British Pairing Can Prove Their Quality
Just a few short years ago Russell Knox was looking on at Luke Donald in awe. Donald had climbed to number one in the world while Knox was battling it out just to win a PGA Tour card. Fast forward to the present and Knox is 18th in the world rankings as Donald is having to work very hard just to hang onto a place inside the top 100.
Both men have won some huge events in their careers but they both have a lot to prove. Donald needs to get back to winning ways on the PGA Tour or he is in danger of seeing his career slip away. For Knox, his aim is making sure that he performs well enough for an automatic place in the 2018 Ryder Cup team. He was overlooked by captain Darren Clarke in favour of Lee Westwood and cannot afford to rely on a captain’s pick again. The pairing will be motivated this week which makes them look good value at 11/1 with Coral.