It’s time for the last PGA TOUR event of 2020. This year has been unique in pretty much every single way, so having a team event end the calendar year makes a lot of sense.
The QBE Shootout is a birdie fest – as it should be. 12 teams of 2 will battle it out down in sunny South Florida for a chance to win $870,000 ($435,000 to each team member). Let’s go over the format.
The guys better be ready to go low. If you don’t know what a scramble is, each player will hit a tee shot, then they will choose the best one. Then both hit a 2nd shot from that spot, and the process continues until they get it in the cup. Putting, as it will be all week, will be critical on this day.
Saturday: Modified Alternate Shot
This format may be my favorite. Each player will hit a tee shot, and then the team will pick the best ball. The player that wasn’t chosen as the best drive will then hit the 2nd. The other will hit the 3rd, and that process continues until they hole-out.
Sunday: Four Ball
This is normal golf. Each guy plays their ball until they’re done with the hole. The lowest score on that hole between the 2 team members will be scribed on the scorecard.
The defending champions, yes champions, are back in the field. Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Tway won this event last year with a score of -30. Coming into the week, they will be +2000 to repeat.
Big names in the field include Tony Finau (paired with Cameron Champ), Matthew Wolff (paired with Abraham Ancer), and Bubba Watson (paired with Louis Oosthuizen).
Tiburon Golf Course
Par 72 – Right around 7,400 yards
Bermuda Grass Greens
Putting & Experience. That’s it. Focus on that.
The size of the field makes betting this tournament a bit tricky. No Top 20’s, no Top 10’s, limited props. So I guess we will focus on some Top 5’s and Top 3’s
Top 3 – Billy Horschel & Brendon Todd (+175). These guys can roll it. Horschel, over his last 24 rounds, has gained more strokes on the green than anyone in this field. He’s also coming off a T5 at the Mayakoba. Todd ranks 8th this season in SG: Putting, and is a master at plotting his way around a golf course. This team finished T3 here last year. History + Form usually equals a good week.
Top 3 – Abraham Ancer & Matthew Wolff (+164). Ancer brings the form, Matty brings the experience. Wolff finished 6th here last year, and Abraham is coming off back to back Top 15’s – including his T13 at the Masters.
Top 5 – Ryan Palmer & Harold Varner III (+138). Palmer hasn’t played on TOUR since the ZOZO, but was trending in the right direction. His last 3 starts; T34, T17, T4. Harold hasn’t shown much lately, including a 71st last week, but posted a Top 15 at the Houston Open. This team finished T3 in this event last year.
Again, this week is tricky. With such a small field it’s tough to have a good feeling about the board. If I was going to pick a winner, I like the team of Billy and Todd. Their putters are going to be there, but they will need to give themselves enough chances at making birdie.
If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Twilight 9 podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, and more! You can listen to this weeks episode, where we talk Mayakoba and the QBE, here…
Ep. 131: It may just be Justin Thomas time in the desert – Twilight 9
- Ep. 131: It may just be Justin Thomas time in the desert
- Ep. 130: Max Homa & Rory McIlroy win | Pebble Beach preview & picks
- Ep. 129: Will Jon Rahm ever lose again? | Farmers Insurance Open preview & picks
- Ep. 128: American Express preview & picks | Justin Thomas stops by for a quick chat
- Ep. 127: Did Collin Morikawa choke? Sony Open preview and picks
Cover via QBE Shootout