NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Harold Varner III and Ryan Palmer shot a 17-under 55 on Friday in the QBE Shootout to match the scramble record since the event moved to Tiburon Golf Club in 2001.
Varner and Palmer eagled the par-5 17th and had 15 birdies and two pars in the first round. They tied the scramble record set by Greg Norman and Steve Elkington in 2005 and matched by Jason Day and Cameron Tringale in 2014.
“We’re going to go back and talk about those two holes,”Palmer joked about the pars. “”We had a little mental lapse. We brought it back hard.”
Jason Kokrak and J.T. Poston were two strokes back after a 57. The teams will play a modified alternate shot Saturday and close with best-ball on Sunday.
“Hopefully, we’ll both hit good tee shots and then go from there, but the way he’s putting and the confidence I have in my iron play, I think that will be the idea,” Palmer said. “Hit a lot of good iron shots, put the putter in his hand.””
Rory Sabbatini-Kevin Tway and Charley Hoffman-Kevin Kisner opened at 58, Billy Horschel-Brendon Todd and Charles Howell III-Bubba Watson shot 59.
“Old guy with a thoroughbred,” Sabbatini said. “I’m just trying to let this guy run.”
Defending champions Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire had a 62.
Lexi Thompson and Sean O’Hair were 11th in the 12-team field after a 64.