Friday Report: Franklin Templeton Shootout
Mark Lericos gives a report from Naples.
Highlights: Franklin Templeton Shootout
Scenes on Friday at Tiburón Golf Club.
Brandt Snedeker got to see what it's like to be Davis Love III. And Love had a chance to see firsthand why the players on his Ryder Cup team lined up to play with Snedeker.
The two liked what they saw, shooting a 10-under-par 62 and grab the first-round lead of the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Friday at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
"For the first time in my career, I got to feel like what it's like to be Davis Love, to hit from some of his tee shots, and hit from some of his beautiful iron shots on these par-3s, and realize how the game is supposed to be played," Snedeker said.
When Love was the U.S. Ryder Cup captain in September, he said everyone on the team wanted to play with Snedeker, who was one of his captain's picks. So he took that advice this week.
"That's why I was so excited to play with him, because I knew it would be fun
and comfortable," Love said. " ... Obviously he's one of the best putters on tour. He's reading the greens great all the time, so it's nice for me to learn something from him."
Love and Snedeker made five birdies on the front and five more on the back for the 62, the lowest score in the modified alternate shot format in the 24-year-old tournament's 12 years in Naples.
"We both played well and both made a few putts, but we both drove it well," Love said. "I think that was the key. We were picking which drive on every hole we wanted to use rather than one guy being out of the hole and struggling."
Love helped the two become comfortable by sinking an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 1, and a 30-footer on No. 3. "Momentum really jump-started," Snedeker said.
The team followed with three straight on Nos. 6-8, then added birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, 15 and 17.
"When it's his turn to putt, I just stay out of the way and it works out pretty good," Love said.
Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair are in second, two behind. Three teams — Bud Cauley and Rickie Fowler, Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh, and Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini — are tied for third at 6 under.
Defending champions Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele are tied with 2010 champions Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter, and Stewart Cink and Carl Pettersson at 5 under.
The 12 two-man teams will play best ball Saturday, then a scramble Sunday in the event founded and hosted by Greg Norman. The modified alternate shot usually ends up being the toughest test.
"In this format, both players have got to play well," O'Hair said.
Perry was thankful that O'Hair saved him after a couple of poor chip shots — he flubbed one short of the green on one hole, then hit one through and over the green on another.
"Embarrassing," Perry said. "And the camera guys were right behind me so everybody got to see it."
Both times O'Hair chipped close enough, then Perry knocked in the par putt.
But those were the only missteps. The two birdied Nos. 3-6 to get off to a good start. Perry nearly holed out for eagle from in front of the green on No. 17, then missed a makable birdie putt on No. 18.
Perry, who's won the event twice, fired strong drives, then got to watch O'Hair rip his past them.
"I didn't realize how long he was," Perry said. "I used to hit it kind of close to him, and now I realize I need to be staying on the Champions Tour after how far he hits it. I was just stunned."