Saturday was a pretty significant sorting out process for the teams in the Shootout being played at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
Friday night, three teams were locked in a tie for 1st place at 10-under:
- Harris English and Matt Kuchar
- Charles Howell III and Justin Leonard
- Sean O’Hair and Kenny Perry
English and Kuchar made a huge move Saturday that could foreclose much of the field from getting close to them, let alone winning. Starting on the 8th hole, they “birdied in” except for an eagle on 15 and a par on 18. They went from a 64 on Friday to a 6o. That extended their 3-shot lead over Retief Goosen and Freddie Jacobson to four shots.
Goosen and Jacobson had their own heyday improving their first round 67 to a 61. Jacobson put on his normal exemplary putting demonstration to get there.
Howell and Leonard went from a 1st place 64 to a T3 67 that left them seven shots back.
O’Hair and Perry lost the magic some. They also went from a 1st round 64 to a 69 that took them all the way down to T6. O’Hair started hitting his driver erratically and that put pressure on Perry’s approach shots and short game. And once that happens, momentum is lost.
On the plus side, the English Team of Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood awakened from their first-round malaise and improved from 70 to 61. That was good enough for a T3 with Howell and Leonard.
The Florida Gators team of Chris DiMarco and Billy Horschel had their own comeback of sorts. They shot 68 on Friday and improved to a 64 and 5th by themselves. They are 8 shots behind the leaders.
Rory Sabbatini and Scott Verplank also had a big move from 69 to 64 and they remain one shot behind the Gators.
As a final note, the host, Greg Norman and Jonas Blixt finally got going on Saturday but it’s too late. Their 63 was more like it, but it only got them to 8th, eleven shots back.
They are expecting inclement weather on Sunday, so the first tee times have been moved up to 7:45 AM (ET) with a tape-delayed broadcast. The Golf Channel begins it at 1:00 and NBC goes from 2:00 to conclusion.