To win the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout was always going to require a low number on Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
Just how low became evident on the back nine, when Jason Day and Marc Leishman, leaders by three to start the day in the two-player team event, were a combined five-under through 13 holes in four-ball play… and trailed by two.
By day’s end, the pairings of Jason Kokrak/Kevin Na, Billy Horschel/Sam Burns and Harris English/ Matt Kuchar each had shot 10-under or better, perfect conditions resulting in lights-out scoring.
With 12 birdies over their final 13 holes, it was Kokrak and Na who prevailed with an 11-under 60… that included a bogey. The duo actually had three bogeys over the three days, the most of any of the 12 teams competing, but still posted a 33-under total to win by one shot over Horschel and Burns.
Day/Leishman, who finished with a 65 to tie for third, had actually extended the lead to four shots early, and Na/Kokrak were only even par through the first five holes. But then they got rolling, Na making seven straight birdies on his own ball.
As Kokrak watched his partner – the pair live in Las Vegas and share the same swing coach – he too saw his putter come alive on the back nine, making birdies on holes 14, 16, 17 and 18.
“I was leaning on Kevin big time in the front nine. He hit every shot in the book,” Kokrak said. “I got a nice little swing though on the back nine and made a few putts.”
Their performance was the second largest comeback in the 33-year history of the event.
The winners earned a prizemoney payout of $US447,500 each from an overall purse of $US3.6 million. Here’s the prizemoney payout for all the golfers competing at Tiburon:
Win: Kevin Na/Jason Kokrak, -33, $447,500 each ($895,000 total)
2: Sam Burns/Billy Horschel, -32 $280,000 ($560,000)
T-3: Marc Leishman/Jason Day, -31, $152,500 ($305,000)
T-3: Harris English/Matt Kuchar, -31, $152,500 ($305,000)
T-5: Kevin Kisner/Max Homa, -28, $110,000 ($220,000)
T-5: Graeme McDowell/Corey Conners, -28, $110,000 ($220,000)
7: Will Zalatoris/Sean O’Hair, -26, $97,500 ($195,000)
8: Ian Poulter/Charles Howell III, -24, $95,000 ($190,000)
9: Bubba Watson/Lexi Thompson, -23, $92,500 ($185,000)
10: Husdon Swafford/Brian Harman, -22, $90,000 ($180,000)
T-11: Ryan Palmer/Matt Jones, -21, $86,250 ($172,500)
T-11: Brandt Snedeker/K.H. Lee, -21, $86,250 ($172,500)