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QBE Shootout: Tony Finau ready to mash it with Cameron Champ at Tiburón

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NAPLES, Fla. — A total of 632 yards. That’s how long combined Cameron Champ and Tony Finau averaged off the tee on the PGA Tour last season.

So the fact the two long hitters are paired together this week at the QBE Shootout could turn some heads — if there were any fans here to see those bombs.

“I think whether it’s a golf course that is or not, we’re going to unleash,” Finau said, when asked if Tiburón presents that opportunity. “We know what the people want to see. We played together (Wednesday) and seem to be hitting pretty much driver on every hole. We’re definitely going to be sending it whether it probably calls for it or not.”

“I think iron-wise we’re pretty much the same,” Champ said. “Maybe a few holes depending on who goes first or what, we can kind of try to play a little more aggressive depending on the format, which is fun.”

QBE ShootoutPairings, TV information

Some teams in the Shootout over the years have had success with a pairing of a long hitter with a partner who is more accurate or has a better short game, for example. But two long hitters isn’t the norm.

“(In the scramble format Friday), we can play a little bit aggressive depending on who wants to go first, which I think both of us really don’t care who goes first or second,” Champ said. “Some holes, depending on the wind, we can try to maybe get up a little further. The majority of the holes it’s really out in front of you. You can’t really overpower the place.”

Finau is playing in the Shootout for the third time, but the first with a male partner. He played with LPGA Tour star Lexi Thompson the previous two times. Thompson isn’t playing this week because of the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I have a great partner here in Cameron Champ and I look forward to the week competing with him and playing and enjoying the week here,” Finau said. “It’s an awesome week, a great cause and I’ve always enjoyed this event.”

This is the second time for Champ, who played as a replacement in 2018 with Kevin Kisner.

“Team golf in just a different format again just makes it a little more fun since just about every single event we play is just regular stroke play,” he said. “Weather’s a little nicer here than back home for me.”

Finau wasn’t sure if he would play this year, but after coming down with COVID-19 in October and recovering, he was looking to add events to his schedule, and this was a good fit. Chris Armstrong, who is the manager for both players, helped put them together.

“Because of that, I looked at adding Mexico last week, which I did, and then this one just to get some more reps in,” Finau said. “Cameron was available to play with. … It happened pretty fast, so here we are.”

TV info

Golf Channel will show Friday’s first round from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. live, with a 7 to 11 p.m. replay. Saturday’s second round also will be on Golf Channel from 1 to 5 p.m. live, and with a 7 to 11 p.m. replay. Sunday’s final round will start out on NBC from noon to 2 p.m., then switch to Golf Channel from 2 to 4 p.m.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/11/qbe-shootout-cameron-champ-tony-finau-tiburon/

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