NAPLES, Florida -- Four strokes separated the first from last Friday after the literal scramble that was the opening round of the QBE Shark Shootout.
And that meant Madison golfer Steve Stricker and teammate Sean O'Hair are still in the thick of things with 36 holes to play at Tiburon Golf Club in the 30th annual team event founded by World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman.
The defending champions, buoyed by Stricker's hole-out for eagle on the 10th hole, played the back nine in 6-under-par 30 in the opening-round scramble format, capped by a birdie-birdie finish.
Their 10-under-par 62 was good for a share of seventh in the 12-team event, three shots behind Brian Harmon and Patton Kizzire; Emiliano Grillo and Graeme McDowell; and Kevin Na and Bryson DeChambeau, who — playing in the last group with Stricker and O'Hair — played Nos. 13 through 17 in 5-under go gain a share of the lead.
Stricker and O'Hair birdied No. 1 to start the day, but then parred their next three holes before birdieing three of the last four holes to make the turn in 4-under. Stricker's hole-out for eagle on No. 10 kick-started a back nine in which the team made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 and then 17 and 18 to finish out the day.
A year ago, Stricker and O'Hair shot 57 in Friday's scramble format, 69 in the modified alternate shot and 64 in the Sunday better ball format to win by two shots. They were the first duo to win as a first-time pairing since Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron prevailed as first-time teammates in 2000.