Franklin Templeton Shootout Preview

Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker defend the title at Tiburon GC in Florida.

Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker defend Franklin Templeton Shootout
Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker defend Franklin Templeton Shootout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year this week. 24 players head to Tiburon Golf Club in Florida for the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

The Franklin Templeton shootout is a two-man team event featuring three rounds played in differing strokeplay formats. On Thursday the pairs play a scramble, on Friday it’s alternate shot and on Saturday it’s better ball. Hosted by Greg Norman, this will be the 28th time the tournament has taken place.

In last year’s event Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker were champions and they return this year to defend their title.

The 24-player field features a number of leading figures in the game and there are some interesting pairings.

Tour rookie Bryson DeChambeau teams up with LPGA star Lexi Thompson. This will be the second time an LPGA player has participated in this event, after Annika Sorenstam paired Fred Couples back in 2006.

Harris English and Matt Kuchar play together again. They have enjoyed a great record in this event over recent years. They were champions in 2013 and runners up in both 2014 and 2015. The young pairing of Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas could be a strong one, as could the British duo – Russell Knox and Luke Donald.

Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida boasts two Greg Norman-designed courses – Gold and Black. The Franklin Templeton shootout is held over the Gold. Lined by pine trees, rolling fairways travel past water hazards and waste areas. This is a natural feeling layout.

The weather forecast for the week looks pretty good although rain could be a factor on Friday

Venue: Tiburon GC, Naples, Florida Date: Dec 8-10 Course stats: par 72, 7,288 yards Purse: $3,100,000 Winners: $385,000 Defending Champion: Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker (-30)

Player Watch:

Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas – These youngsters have already proven they have what it takes to succeed on the world stage. Thomas has been on fine recent form and was winner in October’s CIMB Classic.

Luke Donald and Russell Knox – The Brits have a point to prove in a pairs format, particularly Knox who missed out on a Ryder Cup pick earlier this year. The Scot has won twice this year on the PGA Tour.

Luke Donald's short game secrets:

Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner – They should be able to remember each others’ name at least. But they’ve both played some excellent golf in recent months and should be suited to this format.

Key hole: 17th. A reachable par-5 of 534 yards, this is a hole where the pairings will be looking to pick up shots. The secret to this hole is to stay left. Water lurks down the right side and a large bunker complex protects the front of the green. If bailing out on the approach, there’s a large collection area on the left side and, from there, it’s a relatively straightforward pitch onto the green.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?