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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Hoffman and Johnson can restore some pride

Veterans to dismiss wooden-spoon fears

Zach Johnson can launch a comeback in the greensomes
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 6.30pm

Steve Stricker showcased his incredible short-game skills to take his team to the top of the leaderboard in the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club, Florida.

Stricker and his partner Sean O'Hair opened with a 15-under-par 57 in the day-one scramble, the ante-post 25-1 chances looking down on the rest of the 12-team field.

Stricker turned 50 in February, but remains one of the best putters in the world. Combined with the strong ball-striking of O'Hair, these two quiet assassins made an eagle and 13 birdies to assume 4-1 favouritism.

Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley, who won the 2011 Shootout together, are in second place, one shot behind. The top two teams will probably be tough to shift from the front over the final two days. The field competes in a greensomes format in round two, before fourballs for the final round.

In-running outright punters should be concentrating on the front two teams, along with Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner, and Brian Harman and Pat Perez.

Charley Hoffman and Zach Johnson will not be happy with being in last place, and the extra onus on iron-play in the greensomes format should aid their recovery. Hoffman and Johnson, an in-form duo who are surprise back-markers, can defeat Harris English and Matt Kuchar in round two.

And the combination of Russell Henley and Kyle Stanley should prove too strong for Tony Finau and Lexi Thompson.

Recommendations
Hoffman & Johnson
2pts 6-4 Betway

Henley & Stanley
2pts 4-5 Betway

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