Bradley-Steele team returns to defend title in Franklin Templeton Shootout

Keegan Bradley
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Keegan Bradley teamed with Brendan Steele last year to become the first PGA Tour rookies to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
By
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Thursday, December 06, 2012 | 6:44 p.m.

NAPLES, Fla. -- Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele are defending their title in the Franklin Templeton Shootout, and Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter also are back for the first time since winning the team event.

"It's big," said Bradley, coming off a second-place finish on Sunday in Tiger Woods' World Challenge in California. "I get to play with Brendan, which is really fun, and I'm defending, which is even more fun."

FRANKLIN TEMPLETON SHOOTOUT

The Franklin Templeton Shootout was born in 1989 as the RMCC Invitational, and adopted its two-man team format in 1992.

Last year, Bradley and Steele became the first PGA Tour rookies to win the Greg Norman-run tournament, shooting a 13-under 59 in the final-round scramble for a three-stroke victory.

"It's rare that a plan goes that well, especially with golf," Steele said. "You can do everything you're supposed to do, and it doesn't quite work out for you."

Johnson and Poulter won in 2010, then skipped the event last year because of scheduling conflicts.

"Our games are different, but yet they tie in very, very well in this format," Poulter said.

The 12-team tournament begins on Friday at Tiburon -- "shark" in Spanish -- with a modified alternate-shot round. The team will play better ball on Saturday, and finish with a scramble on Sunday.

Bradley and Steele use belly putters that they anchor to their bodies, a technique expected to be banned in 2016 in a proposed rule change. Bradley was heckled last week at Sherwood, with a fan calling him a cheater.

"It's a weird time for players like myself and Brendan to have to deal with that," Bradley said. "I think we've all kind of handled it pretty well considering it's been a pretty drastic change."

Here are the teams:
--Greg Norman/Fredrik Jacobson
--Davis Love III/Brandt Snedeker
--Bud Cauley/Rickie Fowler
--Justin Leonard/Scott Verplank
--Jerry Kelly/Steve Stricker
--Charles Howell III/Rory Sabbatini
--Jason Dufner/Vijay Singh
--Mark Calcavecchia/Mike Weir
--Stewart Cink/Carl Pettersson
--Sean O'Hair/Kenny Perry
--Keegan Bradley/Brendan Steele
--Ian Poulter/Dustin Johnson