Harris English & Matt Kuchar to defend title; LPGA star Lexi Thompson returning
NAPLES, Fla. – One of the more dominate teams in QBE Shootout history will defend its title when the PGA TOUR's longest-running Challenge Event returns December 6-10 at the Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Resort, Naples.
In addition, Lexi Thompson, the highest-ranked American player on the LPGA Tour, is scheduled to make her second consecutive appearance, becoming the first female player in tournament history to play multiple times in the QBE Shootout.
"We are looking forward to watching Harris and Matt as they seek to become the first duo to win the QBE Shootout three times. Both have been great champions and supporters of the event", said Tournament Host Greg Norman. "I am equally thrilled that Lexi Thompson, one of the games bright stars, will be returning to the QBE Shootout once again. Lexi brings another element of youthful energy to the week for our pro-am participants, fans, players, corporate partners and worldwide TV audience."
"In addition to The QBE Shootout bringing together some of the world's best and most prominent names in golf, the tournament provides financial support for very worthwhile charities," said Russ Johnston, Chief Executive Office of QBE North America. "Giving back to our communities is in our DNA, which is why the opportunity to sponsor the Shootout was very attractive to us. There's a very close alignment between the goals of the QBE Charitable Foundation and the philanthropic mission of Greg Norman's event."
Since winning the 2016 QBE Shootout, Kuchar had another consistent season on the PGA TOUR. He accumulated nine top-ten finishes in 26 starts that included a runner-up finish at The Open Championship and a T4 at the Masters. Currently ranked 12th in the world, Kuchar finished the season as a member of the victorious U.S. Presidents Cup team, contributing with a 2-1 individual record. English advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive year on the strength of four top-25 finishes that included a pair of top-10s.
English and Kuchar won the QBE Shootout last year by one stroke over Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. It was English who sank a 12-foot putt for eagle on the 17th hole to secure the duo's second title in three years.
Thompson, 22, enjoyed another stellar season on the LPGA Tour. She picked up two more victories giving her nine career wins on the LPGA and a total of 12 professional titles. She is ranked No.3 in the world—the only American in the top-ten.
The remainder of the 24-player field, competing for a $3.3 million purse, will be announced October 30. The pairings for the teams will be finalized by early November.
The criteria for players qualifying for the 24-person field was adjusted this year to accurately reflect today's PGA TOUR standards. The Shootout's field will be comprised of its defending champions playing as a team, the top 12 committed professionals from the final 2017 FedExCup standings and 10 special exemptions; a minimum of four which will come from the top 40 on the PGA TOUR Career money list.
The QBE Shootout, featuring 12 two-person teams will once again feature a scramble format during the first round, a modified alternate shot format on Saturday and a final-round better ball on Sunday.
CureSearch for Children's Cancer is the tournament's primary charitable beneficiary. Additionally, to support the relief efforts of Hurricane Irma the QBE Shootout has recently launched a hurricane relief fund to support the local recovery efforts. Since 1989, the Shootout has raised more than $13 million for charitable causes.
QBE Insurance Group is one of the world's top 20 specialized insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all the key insurance markets. QBE is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and is headquartered in Sydney. The company employees more than 14,000 people in 37 countries, with major U.S. regional headquarters in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the leading global platform in professional golf, showcasing the highest expression of excellence, both on and off the course. The PGA TOUR's mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, grow and protect the game of golf and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. Its members represent the world's best players, hailing from 24 countries (86 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1.1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2016, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $166 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.46 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
QBE Shootout, Media Director