Franklin Templeton Shootout notebook: Defending champion teams struggle a bit in first round

Scott McIntyre/Staff
Before heading to the ninth green, Dustin Johnson stops for a quick interview with the Golf Channel on the second day of Pro-Am action during the Franklin Templeton Shootout Tournament at Tiburon Golf Course on Thursday.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Before heading to the ninth green, Dustin Johnson stops for a quick interview with the Golf Channel on the second day of Pro-Am action during the Franklin Templeton Shootout Tournament at Tiburon Golf Course on Thursday.

The two sets of defending champions didn't get off to great starts in the first round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Friday. But Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele, and Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter aren't out of it either.

Both teams shot 5-under-par 67s, and are tied for fifth following the modified alternate shot round.

Bradley and Steele are the defending champions, while Johnson and Poulter won in 2010 but could not return last year due to scheduling conflicts.

"I think we missed a ton of putts," Poulter said. "We shot 5 under par and I think we left about seven out there on the golf course. Personally, for both of us it was a little disappointing. We hit a lot a lot of good putts that kind of just shaved the hole. So we're looking for a lot more putts to fall."

Bradley and Steele birdied two of the last three holes to at least move into striking distance entering today's best ball format.

"We struggled a little bit today, but when you have a partner like Keegan that struggle turns into a good round," Steele said.

Slow/fast/slow: Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini were tied for the lead after birdieing four in a row — Nos. 9-12 — to get to 7 under. Then everything stopped. They parred the next five holes, and snapped that streak with a bogey on No. 18 when Howell missed a short par putt.

"We played nicely," Sabbatini said. "Got off to a slow start and finished off slow but there was that middle stretch where we really got things going. All things considered, we got ourselves in good position for the next two days."

Duff and Veej: Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh have been practice round partners for several years on tour. Friday, they teamed up for the first time for real, and put together a 6-under-par 66 to tie for third. The two shot a 5-under 31 on the back.

"We did OK," Dufner said. "We whiffed on a couple of the par-5s early, but had a nice back nine."

"We maybe just tried a little too hard today," Singh said.

Franklin Templeton Shootout 5K: The fourth annual 5K will be Saturday morning within the Tiburon Golf Club community.

Proceeds from the race will benefit CureSearch for Children's Cancer. Registration is from 6 to 6:45 a.m., with the race start at 7 a.m. The fee on the day of the race is $30. Students 18 and under are $10.

Entry into the 5K includes one daily grounds ticket to the Shootout (must be 17 or older to receive ticket — 16 and under receive complimentary Shootout admission).

Complimentary parking will be located at the Shootout's general spectator lot at the intersection of AirportPulling & Orange Blossom Rd; 1/4 mile from Tiburón Golf Club. Shuttles will be provided to the event location. Bag/personal item checks will be available on site. The course will close at 8:15 a.m.

Justin Kane, Manny Navarro and Alexandra Beavers contributed to this article.

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