Golf roundup: Rookie team wins QBE Shootout; Baylor grad Harris English third

AP photo by Chris Tilley / Sahith Theegala tees off on the ninth hole of the Gold Course during Sunday's final round of the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. Theegala, a PGA tour rookie last season, and Tom Hoge teamed up to win the unofficial money event.

NAPLES, Fla. — Sahith Theegala made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday as he and Tom Hoge closed with a 10-under-par 62 in fourballs and became the first rookie team to win the QBE Shootout in 11 years.

Charley Hoffman and Ryan Palmer both missed birdie putts from about 12 feet on the final hole of the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club that would have forced a playoff in the unofficial money event featuring PGA Tour golfers and some LPGA Tour players. Hoffman and Palmer had a 65 and finished at 33-under 183 in the 54-hole event in which teams used a scramble format in Friday's first round and played modified alternate shot in Saturday's second round.

Theegala was a rookie during the 2021-22 season, but he reached the Tour Championship and twice had chances to win going to the final hole of tournaments.

"It's nice to get a taste of victory because it's so hard out here," Theegala said.

Hoge, who earned his first PGA Tour win at Pebble Beach Golf Links in February, carried much of the load early when Theegala pulled a muscle in his left side on the first hole. By the end of the day, Theegala said it felt better and he was able to take fuller swings.

They still had to contend with Hoffman and Palmer, especially at the end. Palmer's chip up a steep slope on the par-5 17th hole didn't get up the hill and came back to him. Stepping up quickly for the next shot, he drilled it into the cup for an unlikely birdie that gave his team a share of the lead.

Harris English and Matt Kuchar, trying to win the QBE Shootout for the fourth time, finished two shots behind after a 62, with Max Homa and Kevin Kisner fourth at 30 under after a 63.

English was one of two Baylor School graduates in the 12-team event, with Keith Mitchell teaming up with J.J. Spaun. They closed with a 64 but were 12th at 23 under.

Victory at last

MALELANE, South Africa — Ockie Strydom earned his first victory on the DP World Tour at age 37, closing with a 3-under 69 for a two-shot win in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Strydom made four birdies in his first five holes after the turn to seize the outright lead, and he finished the 72-hole event at Leopard Creek Country Club at 18-under 270.

"It's good. It's my favorite place," Strydom said as he won in his home country. "I'm just happy."

Spain's Adrian Otaegui closed with a 68 to finish second. England's Laurie Canter (64) was alone in third at 15 under, while three players tied for fourth at 14 under: South Africa's Oliver Bekker (71) and Branden Grace (70) and Canada's Aaron Cockerill (69).

Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (68) shared seventh with fellow South African player Dean Burmester (72) at 13 under.

Strydom had a share of the lead overnight but had a roller-coaster four holes from No. 6 to No. 9 as he went birdie, bogey, birdie, double bogey.

That double bogey on No. 9, after finding water with his second shot, threatened to throw off his challenge. But he recovered in fine fashion by collecting back-to-back birdies on the next two holes.

He also picked up shots at Nos. 13 and 14 and made pars all the way home.

Strydom's breakthrough win on the Europe-based circuit came after he equaled the course record with a 63 in the third round. Scotland's Scott Jamieson had set that record just a day earlier.

Strydom set a course record with a 63 at the previous weekend's South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate in Johannesburg, where he tied for 15th.