Stricker Kelly capture Shark Shootout


NAPLES, Fla. – Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly won the Shark Shootout by a stroke on Sunday.

Stricker made an eagle on the par-5 17th – hitting the second shot and the putt – to give them the lead.

Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes, who had been in the lead most of the day, both missed birdie putts on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff in the scramble format.

“It’s another feather in our cap,” said Stricker, the world’s No. 3 player who won three times on the PGA Tour this year. “This is a lot of fun. We came here to have fun and to play well at the same time, and we did that.”

Kelly and Stricker, who carried a one-shot lead into the day’s play, split $750,000 out of the $3 million purse.

“We were a very good team,” Kelly said. “It didn’t seem like we were consistently in there with two really good birdie chances, but one of us always seemed to step up.”

Both Kelly and Stricker missed a lengthy birdie putt on No. 18 before Perry and Holmes both missed a 12-footer.

“We just let it get away,” said Perry, whose team had a three-shot lead over Kelly and Stricker with five holes to play.

Chad Campbell and Tim Clark, and Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank also finished at 25-under 191 to tie with Perry and Holmes.

It was the second Shootout title for Kelly, who also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

Perry was trying to join Fred Couples and Steve Elkington by winning the Shootout three times with three different partners. Perry won with Scott Hoch last year, but Hoch could not play this year after undergoing wrist surgery.

Perry and Holmes eagled the par-5 first hole, and birdied 11 of the next 13 to get to 25 under.

“It was on cruise control,” Perry said.

But they parred the last four holes. They were within 100 yards on the par-4 15th, and had a 5-footer for birdie on No. 16, but couldn’t convert.

“All of a sudden, the momentum kind of swung,” Perry said. “That’s kind of the beauty of a scramble. You’re never really done until you’re done in this deal.”

Stricker and Kelly struggled at the start, as they did during Saturday’s best-ball format. They made par on three straight holes in the middle of the front nine before making five straight birdies, then two pars. But they birdied Nos. 14, 15 and 16, and then made the eagle on No. 17.

Rickie Fowler turned 21 on Sunday, and the crowd on No. 18 sang “Happy Birthday” as his group approached the green.

Clark made the first hole-in-one since the event moved to Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in 2001. He used a 6-iron on the 183-yard No. 12.

Tournament host Greg Norman didn’t play in his event for the first time in its 21 years after having right shoulder surgery in September.