Sean O’Hair went from quite the swing as a partner for this week’s QBE Shootout.
Steve Stricker, who won it with O’Hair in 2017, withdrew with a non-COVID-related virus last week. The 54-year-old was replaced in the field by 25-year-old Will Zalatoris, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
“Obviously I was bummed that Stricker isn’t playing and I was looking forward to playing with him, but I couldn’t imagine a better partner than Will,” O’Hair said while playing a practice round Tuesday. “We don’t know each other very well, but I’m super excited to play with a young gun like that, and hopefully he’s willing to carry me around pretty good.
“He seems like a really nice kid. He’s got an incredible game and I’m looking forward to a good week with him.”
So it’s a bit of a change in philosophy for the 39-year-old O’Hair, who’s been paired with everyone from Kenny Perry, winning it with him in 2012, to LPGA Tour star Lexi Thompson in his 10 previous Shootout appearances. O’Hair and Kevin Na tied for second last year.
“With Strick, the thing is that you play with guys like that — I had that with Kenny even — you look at guys like that who to me are kind of my role models out here on tour or have been my role models,” O’Hair said. “I love how they carry themselves and I love their games. I think they understand their games. They don’t have maybe the most perfect action or they don’t have the most powerful games — I mean Kenny still hits it a mile — but it’s like they understand their games and they’re very good at what they do.
“I think Zach Johnson’s a very good example of that, a good guy, knows his game very well and gets it’s done. For me playing with those guys, I just learned a lot, just watching them play, and obviously being partners with them I enjoyed it immensely and it worked out well for me. I got a win out of Kenny and a win out of Stricker, so I’ve been pretty fortunate.”
Extra bodies: The pro-am once again added two teams on top of the 24 tour pros in the Shootout field, meaning two pros will be playing who aren’t in the Shootout. Founder and host Greg Norman will once again lead one of them, and Tour pro Denny McCarthy will be with the other team both days.
QBE Shootout pro-am tee times
8 a.m. — Charles Howell III; 8:12 a.m. — Jason Kokrak; 8:24 a.m. — Ian Poulter; 8:36 a.m. — Sam Burns; 8:48 a.m. — K.H. Lee; 9 a.m. — Hudson Swafford; 9:12 a.m. — Matt Jones; 9:24 a.m. — Kevin Kisner; 9:36 a.m. — Marc Leishman; 9:48 a.m. — Brian Harman; 10 a.m. — Max Homa; 10:12 a.m. — Graeme McDowell; 10:24 a.m. — Ryan Palmer
No. 10 Tee
8 a.m. — Matt Kuchar; 8:12 a.m. — Lexi Thompson; 8:24 a.m. — Denny McCarthy; 8:36 a.m. — Bubba Watson; 8:48 a.m. — Sean O’Hair; 9 a.m. — Will Zalatoris; 9:12 a.m. — Greg Norman; 9:24 a.m. — Jason Day; 9:36 a.m. — Brandt Snedeker; 9:48 a.m. — Kevin Na; 10 a.m. — Corey Conners; 10:12 a.m. — Billy Horschel; 10:24 a.m. — Harris English
8 a.m. — Jason Day; 8:12 a.m. — Brandt Snedeker; 8:24 a.m. — Kevin Na; 8:36 a.m. — Corey Conners; 8:48 a.m. — Billy Horschel; 9 a.m. — Harris English; 9:12 a.m. — Matt Kuchar; 9:24 a.m. — Lexi Thompson; 9:36 a.m. — Denny McCarthy; 9:48 a.m. — Bubba Watson; 10 a.m. — Sean O’Hair; 10:12 a.m. — Will Zalatoris; 10:24 a.m. — Greg Norman
No. 10 Tee
8 a.m. — Kevin Kisner; 8:12 a.m. — Marc Leishman; 8:24 a.m. — Brian Harman; 8:36 a.m. — Max Homa; 8:48 a.m. — Graeme McDowell; 9 a.m. — Ryan Palmer; 9:12 a.m. — Charles Howell III; 9:24 a.m. — Jason Kokrak; 9:36 a.m. — Ian Poulter; 9:48 a.m. — Sam Burns; 10 a.m. — K.H. Lee; 10:12 a.m. — Hudson Swafford; 10:24 a.m. — Matt Jones