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QBE Shootout Odds: Sam Burns, Billy Horschel Favored to Win Team Event

The latest QBE Shootout odds have Sam Burns and Billy Horschel as the favorites to win. Tom Jacobs gives us a complete breakdown of the event and the betting market prior to this weekend's showdown.
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QBE Shootout Odds: Sam Burns, Billy Horschel Favored to Win Team Event

This is the final event of 2021, and it should be an entertaining week. The QBE Shootout, brought to you by Greg Norman is an event that was played for the first time in 1989 and has been a mainstay ever since.

Although not an official event, the QBE Shootout, which was formerly known as the Shark Shootout, and the Franklin Templeton Shootout among other names has been a part of the golfing calendar for a long time now and gives us a chance to see some team golf before the year is out, something we don’t see often.

There have been several multiple-time winners of this event, with certain individuals winning with different partners along the way, but defending champions, Harris English and Matt Kuchar won for a third time in 2020, having been partnered on six occasions in the past. Not to break up a winning formula, the pair return this year on the same team once again.

How to watch the QBE Shootout

Television: Friday, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-5 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (NBC).

Qualifying criteria for the QBE Shootout

The defending champions, playing as a team. 

The top-12 players available from the FedExCup Points List thru last season’s Tour Championship.

10 special exemptions.

QBE Shootout Format

First Round (Scramble) – Each player in the team tees off on each hole and between them decide which tee shot was better. Each player then plays their second shot within a club length of where that ball came to rest, no closer to the hole. This continues in this vain until each hole is completed.

Second Round (Greensomes/Modified Alternate Shot) – Follows the same format as foursomes, as each player in the team has to use the same ball, taking alternate shots until the hole is completed. The only difference here is that both players tee off on each hole, the better shot is chosen and then they alternate strokes until the hole is completed.

Final Round (Better Ball) – Each golf players their own ball from where it lies. A team’s number of strokes for each given hole is that of the lower scoring team member.

If a playoff is required, the 18th hole will be continually used until we find a winner, but the format will change each time. The first playoff hole will be a Scramble, the second Greensomes/Modified Alternate Shot and the third Better Ba. This will be repeated until there is a winner.

Lat Year's QBE Shootout

Harris English and Matt Kuchar did what they do in this event last year, but went even deeper, shooting a final-round 60 to finish the week on -37, a tournament record. 

This final round saw them complete a six-stroke victory over three other teams, showing this was pretty much a non-event on Sunday. 

After the scramble on day one, English and Kuchar were two back, but after firing an 11-under 61 in round two during the modified alternate shot, they opened up a five-shot lead. 

They kept the foot down on Sunday, and during the back-nine, Kuchar recalls English pulling him aside to say “I think we need two shots to set the new mark” to which Kuchar replied “We’ve got four chances”. Kuchar was right, they had four chances, and the pair finished birdie-eagle-birdie to beat their own record. 

The Course - QBE Shootout

Tiburon Golf Club 

Length: 7,382 Yards

Par: 72

Greens: Bermuda

Designer: Greg Norman

Correlating Courses & Events

Regular readers of this article will know I love to fill this section with what I believe to be meaningful links to other events but I’m not even going to try and make links here. 

It’s a point-and-shoot event where the best putters end up winning, and as much as I like to deep dive, any in-depth analysis could well be a waste of time.  

It wouldn’t hurt to have shown form in Ryder Cup’s and the Zurich Classic, with the latter now a team event since 2017, and of course, event and course form here wouldn’t go a miss. 

Looking at the Zurich Classic, the winners there have been:

2021 - Marc Leishman & Cameron Smith 

2019 - Ryan Palmer & Jon Rahm

2018 - Billy Horschel & Scott Piercy 

2017 - Jonas Blixt & Cameron Smith

Jason Dufner was runner-up to Horschel and Piercy in 2018 and he won this event back in 2015 with Brandt Snedeker, and Ryan Palmer won the Zurich with Rahm in 2019, and finished 3rd with Harold Varner in this event, so team-event form does tend to crossover. 

PUTTING – It is pretty simple this week. Everyone is going to get birdie and eagle looks here, it is just set up that way with the formats over the three days, so it’s those that hole the most putts that have a chance of winning come Sunday. 

With this in mind, I wouldn’t want to be backing a team where both players struggle on the greens, you want a strong putter even if it’s someone that’s volatile in that department. While many in this field will rank rather low in SG Putting, there are a decent amount that can get streaky with the flat stick and that’s a positive here.

QBE Shootout Field, Odds and Selections 

Like last week I am going to say a word on the whole field, with only twelve teams participating. I will provide each individual’s best finish here, and if a team has played together here before, how they fared as a pairing. I will also provide each player’s last five results to give an insight on their current form.

With ten of the twelve teams made up of new pairings, there is a lot to decipher.

*In brackets are each players’ world rankings, correct as of 06/12.

Sam Burns (13) & Billy Horschel (23) +450

Previous appearances in this event: Horschel (8), Burns (0)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Horschel (3rd three times), Burns (N/A)

Sam Burns current form: T3-T7-T5-T14-1

Billy Horschel current form: T32-T33-T36-1-7

There’s a very clear reason why these two are favourites and that’s because Burns is the best player in the field right now and Horschel may well be second although you could argue Jason Kokrak’s recent win nudges him ahead.

Horschel has three 3rd place finishes in eight starts here and while Burns is a debutant, there is no reason to suspect he won’t enjoy this setup.

My only concern with these two is a potential travel hangover for the pair and a desire from the two to just wind down ahead of 2022.

Horschel’s form has certainly suffered since winning the BMW PGA Championship, and this is probably due to his desire to split time between the two tours, with his latest start a T32 finish in the 53-man field at the DP World Tour Championship.

Burns also had a chance to win again in the Bahamas this past week but made a 7 on the driveable 14th hole, as he botched multiple shots around the green.

Burns’ let down last week and Horschel’s extensive travel means I will pass on them as favorites, even if they clearly have the best chance of winning.

Jason Kokrak (20) & Kevin Na (29) +550

Previous appearances in this event: Kokrak (1), Na (2)

 Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Na finished T2 in 2020 w/Sean O’Hair. Kokrak finished 2nd with J.T. 

Poston in 2019.

Jason Kokrak current form: 1-T54-MC-T11-T15

Kevin Na current form: T49-MC-T1 (Tour Championship 72 hole scoring)-T17-T8

A few years ago, this would have been team no-putt but now the pair have elevated their games on the putting surfaces, they are a real threat for this. Kokrak ranked 6th in SG putting and Na 87th in 2021, but expect to see plenty of the latter’s signature walk-in putts this weekend.

Kokrak is one of the elites tee-to-green when on form, as he was in his last start when winning the Houston Open, and while Na has made a slow start to the new season, we know he excels with a wedge in his hand and that “win” at the Tour Championship which saw him lead the 72-hole scoring is not that long ago. Both players have finished runner-up in this event, and these have come in the past two renewals and with both now playing with a better partner, there would be no surprise to see them finish one place better this time.

Na’s record is 2nd and 4th here and Kokrak was 2nd on debut, so I would argue they are just as likely to win here as Burns and Horschel, with the latter pairing possibly suffering a hangover from recent travel.

Harris English (17) & Matt Kuchar (100) +650

Previous appearances in this event: English (6), Kuchar (10)

Times played together: 6

Best finish as a pairing: 3 x wins.

Best finish overall: Same as above

Harris English current form: T14-MC-WD-MC-T17

Matt Kuchar current form: T37-T22-T35-T36-MC

These two clearly enjoy each other’s company, as they have played this event together six times in the past, winning three times and finishing 2nd on two more occasions. Their one let down year (2017) saw them finish in a tie for 7th.

Neither player is enjoying their best form right now, but this event historically throws up strange winners, even when not in the best of form. Given their relationship and clear chemistry in the event, English and Kuchar can still combine for a victory here, especially if Kuchar can make the putts English hasn’t been able to since the Ryder Cup. 

With that said, English shot a 3rd round 63 in the Bahamas this past weekend, and Kuchar has made all four of his cuts to start the season, so this event might be coming at a good time for the course horses.

Almost feel obliged to bet them with three wins and two 2nd’s in six starts together.

Max Homa (34) & Kevin Kisner (40) +750

Previous appearances in this event: Homa (0), Kisner (4)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Kisner finished 4th with Kevin Chappell (2016). Max Homa is playing in his first shootout.

Max Homa current form: MC-T35-T72-1-T63

Kevin Kisner current form: MC-T54-MC-T66-MC

Both of these players are inconsistent at best, and while Homa has won as recently as four starts ago, at the season-opening Fortinet Championship, I wouldn’t be confident of another victory lap here.

Kisner has been in terrible form, highlighted by his missed cut at the RSM Classic, a banker event for him usually. He has really settled into the winter break, and appears to just be turning up without any real commitment. That could be unfair to assume but if it is not that then there are some demons in his swing and I wouldn’t want any part of that.

On the face of it, these two probably make up one of the strongest pairings in the field, as they both rank inside the world’s top-40, but in reality they are not playing that way week-to-week. Pass for me, despite both of them winning an event in their past six starts.

Jason Day (115) & March Leishman (35) +800

Previous appearances in this event: Day (2), Leishman (1)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Jason Day won this event with Cameron Tringale in 2014. Marc Leishman finished 8th with Cameron Smith in 2020.

Jason Day current form: MC-T54-T64-MC-MC

Marc Leishman current form: T19-T38-T3-T4-51

In a normal year these two would be vying for favoritism with Day a major winner and Leishman a perennial contender and multiple TOUR winner, but this is not a normal year.

Day has dropped outside the top-100 in the world and is clearly fighting with his game, but on the other hand Leishman has found some blistering form to start the new season.

If Day can just roll in some putts and contribute a little, Leishman may be playing well enough to carry them, but I am not sure if I would bet on it. Day won this event in 2014 with Cameron Tringale but both were in some really good form, with them both sharing 2nd place at The Barclays, a FedEx Cup playoff event.

Should they win this week, Leishman would probably have to be at his very best, which finishes of 3rd, 4th and 19th so far in this young season suggests he could be. Leishman has been the 3rd best putter in the field over the past 15 weeks and will hope to carry that into this, so if he does these could be a threat. Not for me, but respected.

Corey Conners (37) & Graeme McDowell (308) +1100 

Previous appearances in this event: Conners (1), McDowell (8)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a paring: N/A

Best finish overall: Graeme McDowell has finished 2nd three times with three separate partners. Conners finished T6 with Andrew Putnam in 2019.

Corey Conners current form: T22-T40-T17-T17-T22

Graeme McDowell current form: MC-MC-MC-T12-71

This to me is one of the more intriguing options, normally when we look at potential winners of this event, we want a mix of elite ball-striking and putting and McDowell can make the putts that Conners usually misses, and take advantage of his supreme iron game.

While McDowell hasn’t been putting his best to start the season, he normally manages to find a good stroke when playing here, and with him being a Florida boy these days that’s no great surprise.

If Conners can bring his ball-striking from the past few seasons to the fore, this duo could be top contenders given McDowell’s performances here over the years. The Northern Irishman has finished 2nd twice and 5th once in his last three appearances here and Conners is the type that can take him to the mountain top here. McDowell has found success with other ball-strikers here, playing with top ball-strikers such as Darren Clarke, Shane Lowry and Emiliano Grillo and Conners may just top them all. My favorite bet of the week.

Ian Poulter (52) & Lee Westwood (38) +1100

*Editor's Note*: Lee Westwood has withdrawn from the QBE Shootout and has been replaced by Charles Howell III

Previous appearances in this event: Poulter (7), Westwood (1)

Times played together: 1

Best finish as a pairing: 3rd (2013)

Best finish overall: Poulter won with Dustin Johnson (2010) and Westwood finished 3rd with Poulter (2013)

Ian Poulter current form: T6-MC-MC-T18-MC

Lee Westwood current form: MC-T71-T34-T27-T31

Both Poulter and Westwood were part of the European Ryder Cup team that got destroyed at Whistling Straits, and while Poulter has played some good golf since, we haven’t seen much of Westwood.

In fact, in Westwood’s only start since the Ryder Cup he missed the cut at the Houston Open, with a second-round 84 undoing some decent work on Thursday.

While Westwood is lightly run, Poulter is coming off the back of a T6 finish at the DP World Tour Championship, where he may well have contended were it not for an opening 73. Add this to his T18 finish at the CJ Cup back in October and there’s been some signs from Poulter that suggest he could rock up to this sort of hit and giggle and get a win 

Westwood is notorious for missing putts, but Poulter is known for holing them and that’s the combination you want in this event. At his best Westwood is among the best in the world in ball striking, and Poulter is overlooked in that department.

It appears Westwood has been grinding since he officially declared himself out of the running to be Ryder Cup captain in 2023, and he will look to end 2021 with a fun week with his countryman. Expect a spirited performance from the pair who finished T3 in there only start together here in 2013, ending the week with a 59 on Sunday.

Brian Harman (59) & Hudson Swafford (158) +1200

Previous appearances in this event: Harman (3), Swafford (0)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Brian Harman won with Patton Kizzire in 2018. Hudson Swafford is playing in his first shootout.

Brian Harman current form: T61-T54-MC-T72-MC

Hudson Swafford current form: MC-T35-T33-T32-T56

Brian Harman is a winner of this event, and he wasn’t in the best of form leading into the event that year anyway, so his current form wouldn’t necessarily worry me.

Harman ranked T25 in SG Putting in 2021, while Swafford was the last player on Tour to gain strokes albeit marginally (0.001). This suggests Harman will do the heavy lifting on the greens, but both are capable of streaky putting runs so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go well.

Harman has been 1st, 3rd and 11th here, so while he and Kizzire were poor when defending in 2019, Harman clearly likes the course and Swafford can certainly contribute.

Swafford has made a strong start to the season with his irons and wedges leaving him 27th on TOUR in SG Approach early on and top-5 in this field in SG Approach over the past 15 weeks.

The pair are Sea Island residents, like the team of Harman and Kizzire were in 2018, and with Kuchar and English the most successful pairing in the event, the Sea Island boys clearly enjoy their trips here. Maybe they can bottle some of that good feeling and succeed here. Definitely a pair on the shortlist.

Ryan Palmer (46) & Matt Jones (98)

Previous appearances in this event: Palmer (3), Jones (0)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Palmer tied for 3rd in 2019 with his expected partner this week, Harold Varner, while Matt Jones is making his debut.

Ryan Palmer current form: T26-T27-T44-MC-T57

Matt Jones current form: MC-MC-T18-T38-T27

This was meant to be Ryan Palmer and Harold Varner, but Varner has withdrawn at the 11th hour and Matt Jones now makes his debut in the event.

Jones has two top-27 finishes so far this season, and while he has missed the cut in his past two he should be able to contribute with the putter here. He ranked 55th in SG Putting last season and while he hasn’t putted that well to start this new season, he’s been known to hole his fair share over time.

Palmer is in good form of late, posting back-to-back top-27 finishes and he will hope Jones can show some of his signature short game to take advantage of his ball-striking. A fun pairing but with no known chemistry I will pass.

Sean O’Hair (450) and Will Zalatoris (32) +1400

Previous appearances in this event: O’Hair (10), Zalatoris (0)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Sean O’Hair is a two-time winner of this event, most recently with Steve Stricker in 2019 and Kenny Perry before that in 2012. Zalatoris makes his debut in the event, replacing Stricker.

Sean O’Hair current form: T22-T58-WD-MC-T48

Will Zalatoris current form: T37-MC-T54-MC-T14

This pairing is potentially the dark horse. Sean O’Hair is a two-time winner of the event, finished T2 with Kevin Na last year and has shown flashes of good golf in 2021, including on his last start in Bermuda when T22. He’s also the most experienced in the field in this event alongside Kuchar, with ten starts.

Zalatoris finished 2021 with Rookie of the Year honors, despite not being eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs (work that one out!) and he can end the year with a victory despite it being an unofficial event.

Zalatoris is among the best ball strikers in the world, and while putting is not O’Hair or Zalatoris’ best attributes, O’Hair has played here enough times to know the greens inside and out, and he’s putting with reasonable success (28th on Tour) in limited starts this season. Look for this Texas duo to impress in an event O’Hair clearly loves.

I will be betting this Texan duo to succeed this week, as O’Hair looks for this third win here and Zalatoris looks to a trophy cabinet that he will expect to fill for years to come.

KH Lee (64) & Brandt Snedeker (197) +1600

Previous appearances in this event: KH Lee (0), Brandt Snedeker (6)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Brandt Snedeker won this event with Jason Dufner in 2015, while Lee is making his shootout debut.

KH Lee current form: T18-T25-T14-MC-T12

Brandt Snedeker current form: T47-MC-T56-MC-MC

This is one of the stranger pairings in the field, and I have no idea what to expect. KH Lee announced himself on the PGA Tour stage when winning the Byron Nelson in May by three strokes over the brilliant, Sam Burns and he’s been reasonably good since. T6 at the 3M and T12 at the BMW Championship were good results at the end of last season and after missing his first cut of the new season he’s since finished T14, T25 and T18. He’s had a bit of a break in recent weeks, with that T18 coming at the ZOZO Championship at the end of October.

The problem for Lee is that his partner has appeared to severely age in recent seasons. Snedeker has had two top-10’s in the past two seasons, the most recent of which came at the Valero Texas Open (T6) back in April. He ended last season with form figures of MC-MC-T47 after back-to-back finishes inside the top-19 at the Open Championship and 3M Open, and it hasn’t got much better.

To start this season Snedeker has finished MC-T56-MC-T47 and there’s nothing encouraging about his game. Were KH Lee a superstar, I would say he could carry Snedeker and Snedeker could chip in with a few vital putts, but with no standout performer in this pairing it is hard to see success.

Lexi Thompson (12 in Rolex Rankings) & Bubba Watson (80) +3300

Previous appearances in this event: Thompson (4), Watson (6)

Times played together: 0

Best finish as a pairing: N/A

Best finish overall: Lexi Thompson finished T4 with Tony Finau in 2017 and Bubba Watson finished T5 with Louis Oosthuizen in 2020.

Lexi Thompson current form: 8-T2-6-12-T50

Bubba Watson current form: MC-T46-T51-T6-T19

It is pretty tough to see this partnership causing much of a stir this week, as Thompson plays with her fourth different partner in her fifth start and Watson will be playing for a seventh time, never finishing better than T5 in that time.

Lexi has won on this golf course and finished 2nd, and while that T4 finish with Finau in 2017 was impressive, Finau was in great form at the time and Watson, well… he isn’t. Not only has he had a disappointing 2021, but this is his first event since August, and I can’t see him suddenly coming out in winning form. He has been on a book Tour for large parts of the fall as he looks to prepare for the next stage of his life, and who can blame the multiple Masters winner for that.

Nice to see two of the game’s biggest names partner together, but in two of Thompson’s starts here she’s finished last, and the other two times were with Finau. I suspect last is the most likely outcome this week.

QBE Shootout Selections

Saver: English/Kuchar +650

Value selections on

Conners/McDowell +1100

O’Hair/Zalatoris +1400


Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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