MIAMI: Americans Harris English and Matt Kuchar captured an unprecedented third title at the QBE Shootout on Sunday (Monday in Manila) in record-shattering fashion.
Kuchar and English, who also took the 2013 and 2016 crowns, became the winningest partnership in the event’s history by uniting for a 12-under par 60 in the concluding four-ball session at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
English and Kuchar made six birdies and an eagle in the last eight holes to finish on a tournament record 37-under 179 for 54 holes over three different formats and without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a team, we crushed it this week,” English said. “You’ve got to putt well in all formats and we did that. Matt made a lot of clutch putts, especially on the first day.
“It felt like pretty easy golf out here. It was a lot of fun to play.”
They smashed their own low-score record, 182 set in 2013, and won by nine strokes to break their own victory margin record, the old mark being seven shots from 2013.
“We’ve got an incredible record,” Kuchar said. “We’re going to have a hard time catching that record.”
Defending champions Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia and Kevin Tway of the United States, Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes and American Lanto Griffin and the US duo of Sean O’Hair and Kevin Tway shared second, all on 188.
English and Kuchar began the final round with a five-stroke lead after shooting a 61 in Saturday’s modified alternate shot format.
“They’ve done an extremely good job,” two-time major-winning host Greg Norman said of Kuchar and English.
Kuchar and English opened Sunday with back-to-back birdies and added more at the par-3 fifth and par-4 seventh to keep late-charging rivals at bay.
Sabbatini and Tway birdied seven of the first 10 holes to reach 24-under but they were still five adrift.
English and Kuchar responded with four birdies in a row starting at the par-4 11th, stretching the lead to seven after Kuchar, whose son Cameron served as his caddie, rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
English put his tee shot inches from the cup at the par-3 16th and tapped in for birdie then left himself only four feet for eagle at the par-5 17th and made the putt, lifting the duo to 36-under.
English closed out the victory with a 10-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
“Harris has been a horse,” Kuchar said. “He just put on a show, particularly the back nine today.”
Na and O’Hair, who fired a 56 to lead after Friday’s scramble format, shot 64 on Sunday while Tway and Sabbatini shot 61 and Griffin and Hughes fired 62.