Kuehne Sluman Repeat as Champions


04 Franklin Templeton ShootoutNAPLES, Fla. -- Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman combined to shoot an 11-under 61 on Sunday to repeat as champions of the Franklin Templeton Shootout. They completed the 54-hole event at 29-under-par 187.
Steve Flesch and Justin Leonard, who shared the lead after round two with Kuehne and Sluman, carded their third straight round of 9-under 63 to finish in second at 27-under-par 189. Loren Roberts and Mark Calcavecchia took third place one stroke further back at minus-26 after a final-round 61.
Sunday saw teams use a scramble format. Each player hit their own tee shots and after choosing the best one, each player hit his second shot from there and so on until the hole is complete.
Kuehne and Sluman got off to a hot start with birdies on each of the first three holes. They played the next two holes at even-par to maintain a one-shot edge over the hard-charging, father-son duo of Jay and Bill Haas.
The big-hitting Kuehne and Sluman picked up another birdie at the sixth when Sluman sank a 5-foot putt, but were joined atop the leaderboard at minus-22 by the Haas', who birdied nine and 10.
Kuehne and Sluman carded birdies at eight and nine to move one shot clear of the Haas duo. The Haas' briefly joined Kuehne and Sluman in the lead at 24- under with a birdie at the 16th.
Things got real interesting from there. Sluman sank a 6-foot birdie putt at the 13th to get to 25 under. The Haas duo birdied No. 17 to tie them for the lead. Calcavecchia and Roberts, meanwhile, birdied the 15th to make it a three-way tie for the lead.
Flesch and Leonard made it a four-way tie for first when they birdied the 14th.
However, Kuehne and Sluman regained the lead by themselves when Kuehne rolled in a 6-footer for birdie at the 14th. They were briefly joined at 25 under by Calcavecchia and Roberts, who birdied the 17th.
Kuehne and Sluman ran away from the field from there. Sluman drained a 9- footer for birdie at the 16th and made it two in a row with a two-putt birdie on 17. The duo closed the event in style when Kuehne ran in a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to finish two strokes clear of the field.
'Its been a fantastic experience for me again,' Kuehne said. 'Jeff hit a really good putt at 16. I said if we birdied the rest of the way from there, we'd be okay.'
They become the second pair to repeat as champions. Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron titled here in 2000 and 2001.
'I came in here loose and carefree,' said Sluman. 'If it shows us anything maybe its the way we should play on tour. I didn't expect to win and then we made birdie at 16 and it kind of put us over the top.'
The Haas duo closed with their second straight 11-under 61 and finished at 25- under-par 191. They shared fourth place with tournament host Greg Norman and McCarron, who closed with a 62.
Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry took sixth place at 24-under-par 192, while Rory Sabbatini and John Daly were one stroke further back at minus-23.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin Templeton Shootout
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout