NAPLES, Florida – Tournament host Greg Norman has announced the 12 two-person teams for the 2021 QBE Shootout. This year’s tournament will be held December 8 – 12 and will celebrate its 21st year at Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
The 33rd edition of the Shootout will feature nine new teams competing for the $3.6 million purse. The three returning teams include defending champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar, a team that has claimed victory at the Shootout in 2013, 2016 and 2020, Ryan Palmer and Harold Varner III as well as Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker, the 2017 champions.
“Across the board, we are thrilled with the compelling teams and outstanding players heading to Naples and Tiburón Golf Club this year,” Tournament Host Greg Norman said. “These dynamic duos of rising stars, PGA TOUR winners and Major Champions are sure to create three exciting days of competition for the Southwest Florida community and our global television audience.”
The QBE Shootout will feature 11 of the top 50 ranked players in the world including #16 Harris English, #18 Sam Burns, #20 Billy Horschel, #28 Kevin Na, #29 Jason Kokrak, #33 Max Homa, #35 Marc Leishman, #36 Corey Conners, #37 Lee Westwood, #38 Kevin Kisner and #41 Ryan Palmer.
Golf Channel will broadcast Friday’s first round competition live from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET. Over the weekend, the final two rounds will feature live coverage on both Golf Channel and NBC. Saturday’s coverage will begin from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Golf Channel then switching to NBC from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. The final round will air on Golf Channel from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. and NBC from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
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.
“As a company that prides itself on being a strong partner, it’s quite fitting for QBE to sponsor an event that emphasizes the power of teamwork,” said Todd Jones, Chief Executive Officer of QBE North America. “The pairings assembled for the 2021 QBE Shootout will no doubt offer an entertaining and compelling competition for our customers, partners and the worldwide golf community to enjoy.”
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer will continue to be the tournament’s primary charitable beneficiary. Since 1989, the Shootout has raised more than $15 million for charitable causes.
Here is a snapshot of the 12 teams:
Harris English—Matt Kuchar (13 PGA TOUR wins and three QBE Shootout wins as a team) English and Kuchar will partner for the seventh time. The most successful pairing in Shootout history, this team has also recorded two runner-up finishes (2014, 2015). Hank Kuehne-Jeff Sluman won in ’03 and ’04 while Brad Faxon-Scott McCarron won in ’00 and ’01 as the other multiple winners. The duo holds the tournament record for largest margin of victory, nine strokes last year. They also held the previous record when they won by seven in 2013.
Lexi Thompson—Bubba Watson (27 worldwide wins including three Major Championships) Watson will be making his seventh appearance. Thompson will be making her fifth start with her fourth different teammate. Thompson’s best finish was a T4 with Tony Finau in 2017 and Watson’s fifth place last year with Louis Oosthuizen is his best. Thompson has played on five Solheim Cup teams while Watson has been a member of six U.S. national teams—Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.
Jason Day—Marc Leishman (17 TOUR wins, one Major Championship) This Australian team will be partnered in the QBE Shootout for the first time. At the 2017 Presidents Cup, they were paired together for the first three matches and came up empty in a U.S. victory that year. Day won here in 2014 with Cameron Tringale. This will be Day’s first appearance since winning that year and Leishman returns for the second consecutive time.
Sam Burns—Billy Horschel (8 TOUR wins) This SEC team, LSU and Florida, respectively, is one of the nine new teams. Horschel will be making his ninth consecutive start and Burns his first. Both players qualified for the TOUR Championship in September and finished in the top 20. Both also won this year. Burns won the Valspar Championship in the Spring and Sanderson Farms Championship last month. Horschel, the 2014 FedExCup champion, won the WGC-Match Play in March. Between them, they accumulated 14 top-10 finishes in the 2020-2021 season.
Jason Kokrak—Kevin Na (7 TOUR wins) Na, is making his third appearance. His best was a T2 in 2020 with Sean O’Hair. Kokrak and J.T. Poston were runners-up in 2019 in Jason’s only appearance prior to this year. Another new team and pairing that won as individuals during the 2020-21 season. Kokrak won the CJ Cup last October and Na the Sony Open in Hawaii in January.
Ian Poulter—Lee Westwood (5 TOUR wins, 54 International wins) The two Englishmen are playing together for the second time. Poulter will be making his eighth start and Westwood his second and first since 2013. Poulter won with Dustin Johnson in 2010 and in Westwood’s only start, he and Poulter finished third.
Max Homa—Kevin Kisner (7 TOUR victories) Kisner will be playing in his fifth Shootout. He played four consecutive before missing last year and his best finish was 4th place with Kevin Chappell in 2016. Homa is a Shootout rookie. One of Kisner’s career titles is the 2019 WGC-Match Play and he was undefeated at the 2017 Presidents Cup with a 2-0-2 record. In September, Homa won the Fortinet Championship to start his season and record his second win in the calendar year.
Brian Harman—Hudson Swafford (4 TOUR wins) These two Georgia Bulldogs and Sea Island, GA residents, will be playing for the first time together. Harman won with another Sea Island resident Patton Kizzire in 2018. Swafford is another Naples rookie. Both played on the Bulldog golf team that included Harris English, Chris Kirk, Russell Henley and Brendon Todd—all of whom are TOUR winners.
Ryan Palmer-Harold Varner III (5 worldwide wins) Playing together for the third straight year and their best finish was T3 in 2019. Both are making their fourth start in the QBE Shootout. Palmer won the Zurich Classic in New Orleans with Jon Rahm in 2019. Combined this duo has accumulated 26 top ten finishes in the past four seasons.
Sean O’Hair—Steve Stricker (16 TOUR wins) As individuals both have won the QBE Shootout on two occasions—once together in 2017. O’Hair also won with Kenny Perry in 2012 and Stricker with Jerry Kelly in 2009. Back together for the first time since defending in 2018. Other players to win two times with different partners are Raymond Floyd, Fred Couples and Jerry Kelly. Kenny Perry won with three different partners.
Corey Conners—Graeme McDowell (5 TOUR wins, one Major Championship) Another international team representing Canada and Northern Ireland. McDowell is playing in his ninth Shootout while Conners only start was in 2019 when he played with Andrew Putnam. For McDowell, this will be his seventh different partner. He has finished second three times, with Darren Clarke in 2010, Shane Lowry in 2017 and Emiliano Grillo in 2018. Conners accumulated eight top-10 finishes and 19 top 25s in the 2021 season, including a T8 at the Masters.
K.H. Lee—Brandt Snedeker (10 TOUR wins) Snedeker, another FedExCup champion in the field, will be in Naples for the seventh time. He won in 2015 with Jason Dufner. Lee is making his first Shootout appearance after a strong 2020/2021 season that included a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson.