NAPLES, Fla. – The QBE Shootout today announced a purse increase, broadcast details and changes to field qualifying criteria for the 2017 event scheduled for December 6-10 at the Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Resort, Naples.
QBE's partnership will allow the Shootout to increase the tournament purse by $400,000 over the next three years. The 2016 purse was $3.1 million and will increase to $3.3 million this year, followed by a purse of $3.4 million in 2018 and in 2019 the 24-player field will compete for $3.5 million.
The QBE Shootout will also have a new broadcast partner and will return to a Sunday finish with the Golf Channel broadcasting all three competitive rounds. Live coverage will air from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Shootout will also be televised around the globe via the PGA TOUR's international distribution network.
"QBE is proud that its multi-year commitment has provided the Shootout an opportunity to secure a new broadcast partner in the Golf Channel, increase charitable contributions and reinvest in its purse which will help the event to continue attracting the world's best to Naples each December," said Russ Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of QBE North America.
The tournament has also extended agreements with Tiburón Golf Club and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, which will keep the Shootout in Naples and assure the PGA TOUR's longest-running Challenge Event will celebrate a landmark 30-year anniversary in 2018.
The criteria for players getting into the 24-person field has also been adjusted. New for this year, the Shootout's field will be comprised of its defending champions playing as a team, the top 12 committed professionals from the final 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 adjustment to field qualifying criteria more accurately reflects today's standards in PGA TOUR golf with the FedExCup serving as the barometer for success on the PGA TOUR," said tournament host Greg Norman. "We are confident this change will be well received by the professionals, our fans and corporate partners."
The 2017 field will consist of 24 professionals paired into 12 two-person teams. The QBE Shootout 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.
Harris English and Matt Kuchar won the QBE Shootout last year by one stroke over Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. It was the second title in three years for the team of English and Kuchar who are expected to defend their title this December.
CureSearch for Children's Cancer will continue to be the tournament's primary charitable beneficiary. 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.