Americans Matt Kuchar and Harris English, playing together for the first time, cruised to a record seven-shot victory at the US$3.1 million Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida on Sunday.
Four strokes ahead overnight after Saturday’s better-ball round, the duo fired a 14-under-par 58 in the scramble format to post a 34-under total of 182 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort’s Tiburon Golf Club.
Kuchar and English covered the last 28 holes in a blistering 25-under to tie the 54-hole tournament record and set a new mark for the winning margin at the charity event hosted by Australian golfing great Greg Norman.
“Playing scramble is so much fun and playing with Matt, he’s going to hit a lot of fairways,” English, a double winner on the PGA Tour, told NBC Sports. “It’s all about making birdies. We started off solid on the front nine, really all week, got it rolling towards the back nine and just killed it.”
US world No. 7 Kuchar paid tribute to his partner’s sizzling form on the greens on Sunday.
“I didn’t putt much at all today, Harris was just filling it up,” Kuchar said.
South African Retief Goosen and Swede Fredrik Jacobson carded a 61 to finish second, with Englishmen Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood a shot back at 26-under, after a 59.
Defending champions Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair, who had soared into a three-way tie for the lead after Friday’s opening modified alternate-shot format, ended up in fifth place at 23-under after signing off with a 60.
The event featured 12 two-man teamsm with a different playing format for each of the three rounds.