Odd Couple Gore Funk Lead Shootout

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2005 Franklin Templeton ShootoutNAPLES, Fla. -- Fred Funk and Jason Gore combined for a 9-under-par 63 on Friday to take the lead after one round at the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
 
The pairings of Fred Couples and Adam Scott, Mark O'Meara and Nick Price and John Houston and Kenny Perry share second place after carding 8-under-par 64s in the modified alternate shot format.
 
Jason Gore
Jason Gore helped Fred Funk take the first-round lead.
Ryan Moore and Jesper Parnevik are alone in fifth place at minus-7. Two-time defending champions Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman are one stroke further back in a tie for sixth place with Paul Azinger and Olin Browne.
 
Kuehne and Sluman were near the bottom of the leaderboard around the turn, but they recovered by playing the back nine at 5 under.
 
Tournament host Greg Norman and partner Steve Elkington are in 11th place after a 3-under 69. The event, which was created by Norman and his wife with a goal of raising money for children's charities, is being held at Norman's Tiburon Golf Club for the fifth straight year.
 
In the modified alternate shot format, pairings select the best drive off the tee on each hole. The player whose drive is not selected hits the second shot, and players alternate shots after that until the hole is completed.
 
It can be a rewarding format for pairings with a good balance between distance and accuracy. The consistent Funk, who ranks second in driving accuracy, and the rising star Gore, who averages around 310 yards off the tee, fit the profile.
 
'What's really different for me is that I have never really been paired with a guy who hits it as long as he does,' said Funk. 'When you are playing alternate shot and you get to pick his drive ... that's a big difference. The game is a lot easier from where he is playing his second shots.'
 
'We probably stole a few and left a few out there,' said Gore. 'That is what you have to do in alternate shot. He kept hitting fairways and I tried to hit some good iron shots. That is pretty important around here.'
 
The leaders, who were 5 under around the turn, finished off a seven-hole stretch at 14 during which they collected six birdies to reach minus-9. They stumbled to a bogey at the 16th after Funk hit an errant iron shot, but got that stroke back on 17 despite hitting into a bunker.
 
Gore's good wedge shot at 18 left the pair with an 8-foot birdie try, but Funk pulled the putt left and they finished with a par.
 
'Unfortunately on 18 I hit a horrible shot after he hit such a great second shot in there,' said Funk. 'If there are any regrets, it would be 16 and then not getting one on 18 when we hit it in there close.'
 
Kirk Triplett and Jay Haas are alone in eighth place after a 5-under-par 67. They lead the pairings of John Daly and Tim Herron and Peter Jacobsen and Scott McCarron by one stroke.
 
Finishing the day alone in 12th place, one stroke behind Norman and Elkington, were Mark Calcavecchia and Loren Roberts, who combined to shoot a 2-under 70.
 
The weekend will feature best-ball on Saturday and a scramble on Sunday as teams vie for part of the $2.6 million purse.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin Templeton Shootout
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout