McDowell-Lowry share lead at QBE Shootout
Florida: The only internationals in this year’s QBE Shootout field, Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry (Northern Ireland and Ireland, respectively) used an eagle-birdie start at Nos 1 and 2 to fashion an 8-under 64. In addition to an eagle-three at the first hole, the duo claimed birdies at Nos. 2, 7, 8, 10, 13 and 15.
Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker, who led after 18 holes with a 15-under 57, used a 3-under 69 in round two’s Modified Alternate Shot format to cling to a share of the 36-hole lead with Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry.
The second-round lead/co-lead at the QBE Shootout has held up 16 of 28 times. The last 36-hole leaders/co-leaders to hold on for the win was Matt Kuchar and Harris English last year.
McDowell is making his sixth start in the QBE Shootout, while Lowry is one of six players making their first appearance in the event. McDowell’s best finish is a T2 with Darren Clarke in 2010.
Eleven players have won the QBE Shootout in their first attempt: Mark O’Meara (1989), Curtis Strange (1989), Fred Couples (1990), Scott McCarron (1997), Hank Kuehne (2003), Rod Pampling (2006), Woody Austin (2007), Keegan Bradley (2011), Brendan Steele (2011), Harris English (2013) and Cameron Tringale (2014).
On the PGA TOUR, McDowell is the winner of the 2010 U.S. Open, 2013 RBC Heritage and 2016 OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Lowry is the winner of the 2015 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
McDowell and Lowry competed together as a team in the 2016 World Cup, finishing T9.
O’Hair and Stricker offset four bogeys (Nos. 5, 10, 11, 17) with seven birdies (Nos. 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15).
O’Hair is making his seventh appearance in the QBE Shootout, having won with Kenny Perry in 2012. Stricker is playing for a 10th consecutive time and was a part of the 2009 winning team with Jerry Kelly. Stricker and Kelly finished second in last year’s QBE Shootout.
O’Hair, a 4-time winner on the PGA TOUR, collected four top-10 finishes in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season. In his only 2017-18 start, he missed the cut at The RSM Classic. Stricker claimed six top-25 finishes in 13 starts in the 2016-17 season.
With a 56-68—124 (-20) start last year, Stricker and Jerry Kelly trailed by a stroke over Harris English and Matt Kuchar after 36 holes.
2013 and 2016 QBE Shootout champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar suffered a costly double-bogey at the par-3 12th hole en route to an even-par 72. Prior to today, the team’s highest score since first playing together in 2013 was a 5-under 67 in round two of 2015.
Lowest round of the day: 64 (McDowell/Lowry)
Highest round of the day: 72 (English/Kuchar, Snedeker/Watson)
The team of Tony Finau and Lexi Thompson birdied their final four holes in round two, resulting in a 6-under 66 to get to 15-under 129. They will begin Sunday’s final round three strokes off the lead.
There are six players making their first start in the QBE Shootout this week: Tony Finau, Brian Harman, Pat Perez, Russell Henley, Kyle Stanley and Shane Lowry