QBE Shootout Rankings: Homa/Kisner top field of PGA, LPGA stars
It's time for the final TOUR event on the 2022 calendar: the QBE Shootout. Hosted in Naples, Florida, from Dec. 9-11, the tournament will have 12 teams of two competing across 54 holes.
Round 1 will be a scramble, Round 2 will use a modified alternate-shot format, and Round 3 will feature four-ball. The field includes past winners, returning pairs, multiple players ranked inside the men's world top 20, and two of the LPGA's biggest stars.
Below, we rank the 12 teams vying for glory in this year's QBE Shootout field.
1. Max Homa and Kevin Kisner
The best-ranked pair in this year's QBE Shootout field, Homa is the tournament's top-ranked men's player at No. 16, while Kisner isn't too far behind at No. 31. Both players have recent Presidents Cup experience on their side, so they'll be familiar with the alternate-shot and four-ball formats. They have a combined nine victories on TOUR and played together at last year's event, finishing tied for fifth. This pair should be a lock for at least another top-five finish.
2. Harris English and Matt Kuchar
English and Kuchar make up one of the older pairs in this year's field at 33 and 44, respectively, but they're also a top team to beat. In addition to their Ryder Cup experience and combined 13 TOUR wins, the duo is prolific on the Shootout stage. They joined forces to win three previous iterations (2013, 2016, 2020) and finished tied for third last season. Odds are this duo will have another good finish in Florida.
3. Billy Horschel and Jason Day
Horschel, at No. 18, is the third-best ranked men's player in the field, behind Homa and Cameron Young. While Jason Day is all the way down at No. 112, if the former World No. 1 can channel his past excellence, this pair could breeze its way to a win. Day won the Shootout in 2014, while Horschel was one of last year's runner-ups. They have Presidents Cup experience and an impressive 19 combined TOUR wins, the most of any pair in the field. If any team can draw on experience to close out Sunday, it'll be this one.
4. Brian Harman and Sepp Straka
Harman and Straka could be the dark horses of this tournament. Harman is ranked No. 23 in the world, while Straka is No. 27, making them one of the top-ranked duos. Harman, who'll be participating in his fifth Shootout, won the event in 2018. While his partner may be making his debut, the team's blend of experience and skill could set it apart from most of the field.
5. Corey Conners and K.H. Lee
Conners (No. 33) and Lee (No. 37) are one of the top-ranked pairs in the field. Both have recent, albeit limited, Presidents Cup experience, and they've played in the Shootout before, though not together. They come up short in the win column, with just three combined TOUR victories. While these two may not be favorites to win, you can definitely expect them to do well.
6. Steve Stricker and Cameron Young
Age may be Stricker and Young's biggest hurdle. With a 30-year age gap, neither is quite in their prime like the pairings ahead of them. While both have alternate-shot and four-ball experience on TOUR, Young is still searching for his maiden win, and his best golf is most likely still to come. His partner, however, isn't new to sealing the deal - Stricker has an impressive 12 TOUR wins and an extensive team-play past. He's also a two-time winner of the Shootout. Stricker's experience paired with Young's youth and distance off the tee could be the pair's key to success.
7. Nelly Korda and Denny McCarthy
Korda is one of two LPGA stars in the field this week and one of the youngest players at 24 years old. The Florida native is ranked No. 2 in the women's world rankings and has previous experience at the Solheim Cup - another professional team event. She has eight wins on the LPGA Tour, including a major. Denny McCarthy, ranked No. 80 in the men's world rankings, has yet to record a TOUR win. McCarthy may help when it comes to distance - he averaged about 20 yards more than Korda did last season - but the LPGA star might very well be the one carrying this team with her top-notch irons.
8. Tom Hoge and Sahith Theegala
This could be a surprising pair. Both players are coming off their best seasons and will look to build on that momentum in their Shootout debuts. While Hoge (No. 36) and Theegala (No. 44) are among the better-ranked players in the field, they have just one TOUR win between them. That lack of Sunday experience could be a hurdle. Hoge and Theegala have a big hill to climb to top this year's field, but if they work well together, expect them to have success in future Shootouts.
9. Trey Mullinax and Scott Stallings
Mullinax and Stallings are ranked Nos. 102 and 56, respectively, and share four TOUR wins between them. Neither has played in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, Mullinax will be making his Shootout debut, and Stallings will be making only his second start at the tournament. While they both have TOUR wins and occupy solid rankings, inexperience in professional alternate-shot and four-ball could be their biggest hurdle.
10. Lexi Thompson and Maverick McNealy
Thompson, the second LPGA star in the field, is ranked No. 7 in the world. The 27-year-old already has an impressive 11 LPGA victories - including a major - and played in five Solheim Cups, three UL International Crowns, and five previous Shootouts. She's paired with fellow 27-year-old Maverick McNealy, who's ranked No. 61 in the men's world rankings and is making his Shootout debut. McNealy has played a significant amount of team golf, but not at the professional level, so he'll most likely need to rely on Thompson's experience.
11. Charley Hoffman and Ryan Palmer
Hoffman and Palmer enter the tournament ranked Nos. 289 and 160, respectively. Both players are in their mid-40s, and despite a combined eight wins on TOUR, neither has won an individual competition since Hoffman claimed the Texas Open title in the 2015-16 season. However, they do have a few positives on their side. Hoffman has Presidents Cup experience, while Palmer is a recent winner of the Zurich Classic, another team event on TOUR.
12. Keith Mitchell and J.J. Spaun
This team is right down the middle in all categories. Mitchell and Spaun are both in their mid-30s and ranked inside the top 100 in the men's world rankings. They each have a TOUR win to their name but will be making their Shootout debuts despite lacking extensive professional team-play experience. One of the duo will need to have one of their better weeks on TOUR if this team is to finish top Sunday. But, like the Hoge-Theegala partnership, if it works, expect success at future Shootouts.