Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly know their way around the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
Stricker and Kelly, buddies from Madison, Wis., who won the tournament in 2009 and have teamed in the event numerous times, carded a scramble score of 16-under-par 56 to take a one-stroke lead over Harris English and Matt Kuchar at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
“It was just a great team effort today,” said the 49-year-old Stricker, who was playing for the first time since the Deutsche Bank Championship on Labor Day. “We both played well. We both kept the pedal down all the way around, we never let up.
“We made a lot of good birdies, threw in an improbable eagle at the sixth hole (where Stricker sank a 60-foot putt), but other than that it was just good, solid golf all the way around, all the way to the end. Usually we have little hiccups here and there or a little lull period and today that never happened. We just continued that good play every hole really.”
Harris and Kuchar, who won the tournament in 2013 and finished second the last two years, were second at 55, while Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini were third at 59.
Defending champions Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker shot 60 were tied for fourth with Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner, and Luke Donald and Russell Knox.
Charley Hoffman and Billy Horschel were seventh at 61, while Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau were eighth at 62.
Thompson is the second woman to compete in the event, joining Annika Sorenstam, who played with Fred Couples in 2006.