Sluman Kuehne on Top

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NAPLES, Fla. -- Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman combined for a 7-under-par 65 on Friday to take the lead after the first round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout. The team of Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch finished one shot off the lead at 6-under-par 66.
 
Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron, who have won this event twice, joined the duo of Fred Funk and Matt Kuchar in a tie for third place at 5-under-par 67.
 
The Franklin Templeton Shootout features 12 two-man teams competing in multiple formats over three days at Tiburn Golf Club. Play got underway on Friday with some of the top players in the game battling it out in the alternate shot format.
 
Sluman and Kuehne collected four birdies and a bogey over their first nine holes to make the turn at 3 under. At the par-4 11th, Sluman knocked his second shot to six feet and Kuehne converted the birdie putt.
 
They ran off back-to-back birdies starting at the 13th before Kuehne hit a tremendous drive at the last.
 
Sluman then hit a sand-wedge to three feet and Kuehne rolled in the short birdie try to give the duo the outright lead.
 
'Everybody said we're the odd couple but I don't see it,' said Kuehne. 'We're out doing the same thing.'
 
While Kuehne is long off the tee, Sluman wasn't ready to put himself in a class below his playing partner.
 
'It's not like I'm hitting 210-yard popcorn shots,' said Sluman.
 
Kuehne agreed.
 
'He hits it out there,' he said. 'It's not like he dinks it.'
 
Hoch and Perry parred their first five holes before picking up an eagle at the par-5 sixth. At the very next hole, Hoch dropped his approach inside six feet and Perry ran home the putt for a birdie.
 
'We didn't help ourselves early on. Still have to make that first one to get going,' said Hoch. 'I made the eagle and he made the birdies. Took too long to get started.'
 
The duo added four birdies and a bogey the rest of the way to finish alone in second.
 
'They've got these greens so fast,' said Perry, who is currently No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking. 'If I'm not careful I can run it past.'
 
John Cook and Mark O'Meara finished at 4-under-par 68 along with the team of Paul Azinger and Olin Browne.
 
Reigning PGA champion Shaun Micheel paired up with Chad Campbell, the man he beat at Oak Hill. Campbell has gotten redemption since with a victory at last week's Tour Championship and he and Micheel partnered for a round of 69 on Friday.
 
They were joined by defending champions Rocco Mediate and Lee Janzen and the duo of Craig Stadler and Peter Jacobsen at 3 under par.
 
Tournament host Greg Norman teamed with Steve Elkington to card a round of 72 to finish in a tie for 10th with the team of Rich Beem and Mark Calcavecchia and the duo of Tom Kite and John Huston.
 
Day 1 Foursomes Results:
 
1. Jeff Sluman/Hank Kuehne -7 (65)
2. Kenny Perry/Scott Hoch -6 (66)
T3. Matt Kuchar/Fred Funk -5 (67)
T3. Brad Faxon/Scott McCarron -5 (67)
T5. Mark O'Meara/John Cook -4 (68)
T5. Paul Azinger/Olin Browne -4 (68)
T7. Rocco Mediate/ Lee Janzen -3 (69)
T7. Craig Stadler/Peter Jacobsen -3 (69)
T7. Shaun Micheel/Chad Campbell -3 (69)
T10. Greg Norman/Steve Elkington Even (72)
T10. Rich Beem/Mark Calcavecchia Even (72)
T10. Tom Kite/John Huston Even (72)
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout