Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout

E-NOTES – December 13, 2016

Since teaming for the first time in 2013, the team of Matt Kuchar and Harris English have dominated the Franklin Templeton Shootout. The duo is a combined 121-under par over the four years.

2016 – Won
2015 – Runner-up
2014 – Runner-up
2013 – Won

Here’s a look at the Official World Golf Ranking following the conclusion of Challenge Season events:

No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5
2016 Jason Day Rory McIlroy Dustin Johnson Henrik Stenson Jordan Spieth
2015 Jordan Spieth Jason Day Rory McIlroy Bubba Watson Henrik Stenson
2014 Rory McIlroy Henrik Stenson Adam Scott Bubba Watson Justin Rose
2013 Tiger Woods Adam Scott Henrik Stenson Justin Rose Phil Mickelson
2012 Rory McIlroy Luke Donald Tiger Woods Justin Rose Louis Oosthuizen

PGA TOUR Champions
Twenty teams competed in the 19th annual PNC Father/Son Challenge, a 36-hole scramble at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites won by one stroke over three teams: Stewart and Connor Cink, Retief and Leo Goosen, and Fred and Taylor Funk. Four-time Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer and his daughter Christina finished fifth, while John Daly and his son Little John Daly finished tied for ninth.

Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino were among the 13 World Golf Hall of Fame Members in the field. In all, the 20 professionals represented a total 335 PGA TOUR titles and 64 major championships.

At age 50 and 49, respectively, Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker were the oldest team in the field at the Franklin Templeton Shootout. They nearly won the event for the second time, as they finished in second place behind champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar. Kelly is planning on making his PGA TOUR Champions debut in February at the Chubb Classic, while Stricker turns 50 on February 23 and plans on balancing his PGA TOUR Champions schedule with his responsibilities as 2017 Presidents Cup Captain. Tour
Jim Renner posted a 17-under 269 total at the Tour’s Qualifying Tournament to earn medalist honors, and in turn full exempt status for the 2017 season. The 33-year-old competed on the PGA TOUR in 2011, 2014 and 2015, recording three top-10 finishes – including a career-best T2 effort at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2014. Renner owns 70 career starts on the Tour, where he was a graduate during the 2013 season after compiling four top-10s to finish 17th on the Regular Season money list.

The next 12 players (Nos. 2-10 and ties) on the final leaderboard will be subject to the third re-shuffle next year. Notable names in that category include 2013 Wells Fargo Championship winner Derek Ernst, two-time University of Alabama team captain Tom Lovelady and Argentina’s Puma Dominguez, who owns the most career starts (73) in PGA TOUR Latinoamérica history. Lovelady, who was a member of Alabama’s NCAA Championship teams in 2013 and 2014, holds the ninth-best scoring average (72.79) in school history after competing in 42 career tournaments.

Players who finished T14 through T42 (Nos. 11-45 and ties) will be subject to the second re-shuffle on the 2017 Tour. Notable names from this grouping include 2014 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Chesson Hadley, 2014 NCAA Individual Champion Cameron Wilson and Andrew Landry, who was the first-round leader and T2 through 54 holes at this year’s U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.

Twelve players who finished Nos. 2 through 5 on the Order of Merit for PGA TOUR China, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada competed at final stage in an attempt to improve their earned status for the year. Of the 12, four players finished inside the top 45 and ties: Taylor Moore (2), Brock Mackenzie (T4), Puma Dominguez (T4) and Xinjun Zhang (T23).

The Tour released the 2017 schedule on Monday, featuring 26 events in 16 states and five countries outside the United States. Notable highlights include:

  • Season-opening events in The Bahamas, which will feature unprecedented Sunday-Wednesday live coverage on Golf Channel. The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic will be contested January 5-11, while The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic will be held January 19-25.
  • A return to the Omaha, Nebraska market after a three-year hiatus with the inclusion of the Pinnacle Bank Championship, to be contested at The Club at Indian Creek the week of July 17-23.
  • The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship moves from the third to the first event in the Tour Finals, to be followed by the Albertsons Boise Open, DAP Championship and Tour Championship, which will return to Atlantic Beach (Fla.) Country Club after the 2016 event was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew.

Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR CANADA
Three Mackenzie Tour players earned exempt status for the first 12 events on the 2017 Tour: Taylor Moore (2nd), Brock Mackenzie (T4) and Ben Silverman (T6). An additional 15 players earned exempt status for the first eight events: Kyle Wilshire, Ben Taylor, Sepp Straka, Talor Gooch, Cameron Wilson, Chris Worrell, Ethan Tracy, Michael Letzig, Conrad Shindler, Kurt Kitayama, David Skinns, Vince Covello, Seth Reeves, Corey Conners and Paul Barjon. Twenty players earned conditional status for 2017.

Here’s a look at the 10-member team from the Mackenzie Tour who will be competing against PGA TOUR Latinoamérica members at the inaugural Aruba Cup at Tierra del Sol Resort and Golf. (Bold denotes Canadian).

Dan McCarthy               Syracurse, N.Y.
Brock Mackenzie           Yakima, Wash.
Taylor Moore                Edmond, Okla.
Adam Cornelson          Langley, B.C.
Paul Barjon                   Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia
Austin Connelly           Church Point, N.S.
Max Rottluff                  Dusseldorf, Germany
Michael Gligic              Burlington, Ont.
Ryan Williams              Vancouver, B.C.
Corey Conners             Listowel, Ont.

PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
Seven PGA TOUR Latinoamérica members had a successful performance at Final Stage to secure guaranteed starts on the Tour in 2017. By finishing inside the top 10, the trio of Vince India (solo third), Puma Domínguez (T4) and Ken Looper (T8), guaranteed entry into the first 12 events of the season. The other four players – Seth Fair (T14), Cameron Wilson (T23), Mark Anguiano (T35), and Corey Conners (T42) – made it inside the top 45 and ties who secured starts in the first eight events of the season.

PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will battle the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in the inaugural playing of the Aruba Cup, a Presidents Cup-style team match play event featuring 10 players from each team. Hosted by Tierra del Sol Resort and Golf, the matches will be played over the course of three days (December 15-17) with teams competing in Four-Ball, Foursomes and Singles sessions. With PGA TOUR member Julián Etulain as its Captain, team PGA TOUR Latinoamérica includes Nate Lashley, Augusto Núñez, Guillermo Pereira, Samuel Del Val, Martin Trainer, Andrés Echavarría, Seth Fair, Tom Whitney, Sebastián MacLean and Seth Fair.

Costa Rica will be joining PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2017. The inaugural playing of the Essential Costa Rica Classic was officially launched during a press conference held in the capital city of San Jose last Wednesday. The tournament will be played May 1-7 at the Robert Trent Jones II designed Reserva Conchal in the province of Guanacaste. The full 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica scheduled will be announced next month.
Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series
With his tie for 23rd at the Tour’s Qualifying Tournament last week in Winter Garden, Fla., China’s Xinjun Zhang improved his status on the circuit and will play in at least the first eight tournaments on the Tour schedule. Zhang finished fifth on the 2016 PGA TOUR China Order of Merit to earn Tour membership, but his Q-School performance will ensure Zhang will play in his first Tour tournaments of his career.

Canada’s Justin Shin and Australia’s Jamie Arnold both earned 2017 Tour status with strong finishes at the Qualifying Tournament last week. Shin, who finished ninth on the PGA TOUR China Order of Merit, guaranteed himself starts in the first eight events of the season with his tie for 35th at Q-School. Arnold, a veteran of 14 previous tournaments in China, tied for 19th and will also be exempt at least through the first eight events on the schedule.

China’s Zihao Chen was one strokes shy of earning a full exemption to the 2017 Tour. Chen finished 10th on the 2016 Order of Merit and that earned him a spot in the Qualifying Tournament. He ultimately needed one birdie over his final three holes Sunday at Orange County National Golf Club but finished par-par-par to tie for 53rd. The top-45 players and ties earned full status. The native of Zhuhai will hold conditional status on the 2017 Tour and will be fully exempt on PGA TOUR China.