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Matt Kuchar & Harris English Take Lead

NAPLES, Fla. -- Harris English and Matt Kuchar shot a 6-under 66 in windy modified alternate shot play Friday to take the second-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

English and Kuchar were at 21 under at Tiburón after opening with a 57 on Thursday in the scramble round. They won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the last two years.

Kuchar and English won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the last two years.

"Alternate shot's always a tricky format. If you would have told us 6 under bogey-free in today's conditions, we'd take that straightaway," Kuchar said. "I'd be surprised if another group was bogey-free today. It was good golf. I don't remember a hole being nervous that we might walk away with a bogey. Every hole we kind of had a chance and it was a good, fun round of golf."

The event ends Saturday with a better-ball round.

"We would have the same game plan tomorrow whether we're up four or up one," Kuchar said. "You have to keep plodding away having two chances at birdies. You keep trying to make pars out here and these guys are going to catch you and pass you."

Wisconsin friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were a stroke back after a 68. The 49-year-old Stricker is teaming with the 50-year-old Kelly for the record eighth time. They won in 2009, and Kelly also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

"It's just a hard day, it's hard," Stricker said. "I'm driving it out there a little past him, so he's hitting all the irons and it's just difficult. It's just a difficult position to put him in every hole and I'm just sitting back watching him hitting the irons. It's tough. You don't want to make a mistake, hit it in the water or plug it in a bunker, but it's going to happen. It's just a difficult day. It's hard to get any momentum at all. You feel like you're just clawing and scratching your way around."

Charles Howell III-Rory Sabbatini (69) and Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner (68) were 16 under. Defending champions Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker were seventh at 14 under after a 70.

Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau were 10th at 11 under after a 71. Thompson is the second woman to compete in the event, following Annika Sorenstam with Fred Couples in 2006.

 

About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 180 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $733 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016.
About The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is renowned for its exceptional personalized service, inventive cuisine and luxurious accommodations, with panoramic views of the adjacent Greg Norman-designed Tiburón Golf Club. The 295-room Mediterranean-style resort, ranked as one of the top hotels in the U.S. by U.S. New & World Report is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburón. The course is the host location for both the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout, held in December and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, held in November.  

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