The 19th annual Merrill Lynch Shootout returns to Tiburn Golf Club and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples December 5-9.Verplank and Justin Leonard finished second in last year's Shootout, losing to Jerry Kelly and Rod Pampling in a one-hole playoff. Faxon, a three-time Shootout champion, will join Leonard in the 12-team event that gives fans three days of spectacular team golf all while raising funds and awareness for CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation.
'I really was looking forward to playing with Justin and trying to get the title this year. I want to thank Greg Norman and Merrill Lynch for understanding and I am going to miss what has become a special week of golf for all of us,' said Verplank, who will undergo a minor medical procedure to his right thumb later this week. 'However, I need to make sure my thumb is in good shape as I start to prepare for next season.'
Faxon's first Merrill Lynch Shootout victory came alongside Fred Couples in 1994. Faxon and Scott McCarron then went on a run with back-to-back victories in 2000 and 2001, becoming the first team in Shootout history to successfully defend its title. This year will be Faxon's 13th Merrill Lynch Shootout appearance.