Last year Steve Stricker nearly won the QBE Shootout with Jerry Kelly.
This year he’s with Sean O’Hair and some late heroics by Stricker put his team in the lead after Friday’s go-low scramble.
Stricker sank a 15-foot eagle putt at the 17th then chipped in from off the green, 15 feet from the hole to birdie the tough 18. The eagle-birdie finish gave his team an eye-opening 15-under par 57 at Tiburon.
“I think it was the finish,” Stricker said, describing the key to his team’s round. “Sean hit an unbelievable three-wood at the 17th, 15 feet from the hole, that was huge.”
They had a one-shot lead over Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley and they were two in front of Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker.
Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau were six back of the leaders. At nine under they were two shots better than the last place team of Zach Johnson and Charley Hoffman and tied for ninth with the defending champions — Matt Kuchar and Harris English.
Saturday’s format is modified best-ball with some challenging weather conditions forecast.