Date: December 14, 2013
Author: Luke Sheehan, Omnisport

Kuchar, English among leaders in Florida

Three pairs are tied on eight under at the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida, with Harris English and Matt Kuchar among them.

English and Kuchar gained eight strokes in the first of three rounds at the Tiburon Golf Club, alongside the pairings of Sean O'Hair and Kenny Perry, and Charles Howell III and Justin Leonard.

Perry and O'Hair are the defending champions, and got away to a solid start at the Greg Norman-hosted event.

Perry is eyeing his fourth personal triumph at the team stroke-play event, having won it previously in 2005 and 2008.

South African Retief Goosen and Sweden's Freddie Jacobson are outright fourth after they shot five under, while tied fifth are Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson, alongside Chris DiMarco and Billy Horschel on four under.

Rory Sabbatini and Scott Verplank are seventh on three under, while English pairing Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are six shots off the leaders in eighth spot on two under.

Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker, lie in ninth, with their experience at the event not showing just yet, as the 2009 champions competing at the tournament for a sixth year in succession.

Australian host Norman and Swedish partner Jonas Blixt are even par and in a share of 10th, alongside Mark Calcavecchia and Chad Campbell.

Propping up the 12-pair field are Canadians Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir, who were the only team to shoot over par as they finished their 18 holes on one over.

The first round was played in 'modified alternate shot' format, with each player playing a drive on every hole – and the best ball selected, with the player who did not hit the selected drive taking the second shot, and the pair alternating thereafter.

The second round will be played in 'better ball' format, with each player playing every hole in its entirety and the best score from a pairing to count.