Lexi Thompson returns for a sixth time at the QBE Shootout and her partner, Maverick McNeely, is new to the event. The former Stanford star saw the Tiburon golf course for the first time on Wednesday. Thompson, however, only competed there last month in the LPGA season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. She won the CME at Tiburon in 2018.
“I know he’s good,” Thompson said when the 27-year-old couple was asked what they knew about each other. McNeely commented on their overall competitive drive.
“We don’t show up here like we’re at an exhibition,” he said. “I want to give us as many good fairway views as possible and just hit the flag right. Very excited.”
This year marks the first time two women are participating as world No. 2 Nellie Korda will partner Denny McCarthy. The winning team earns $950,000.
Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that QBE become a mixed team event between PGA Tour and LPGA starting in 2023. The schedule of these two tours has not featured mixed teams for more than two decades.
“Golf is such an individual sport,” Thompson said, “that we want more team competition, but definitely mixed women’s and men’s. I think it will be great for golf. I think team competitions bring in a lot more fans. I think people really enjoy watching us play, swing our fists and just support each other.”
McNeely added: “I totally agree, I think any chance you can get the best golfers in the world together and compete is great for both sides. I think it would be amazing.”
Maverick McNeely at the 2022 CJ Cup in South Carolina. (Photo: David Yizell, USA TODAY Sports)
Ten of the 12 teams featured this week will come together for the first time. The event, which is celebrating its 34th anniversary, will feature a scramble format on Friday, a modified alternate kick on Saturday, and fourball on Sunday.
Growing up with two older brothers, Thompson, an 11-time LPGA winner, enjoyed the opportunity to play dartboard. It will feel like the good old days this week as the run at Tiburon is 7,382 meters. The official LPGA footage at CME was 6,556 yards.
Lexi Thompson talks to her caddy as she waits for play to begin on the ninth hole during the first round of the 2022 LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship at the Pelican Golf Club in Bel Air, Florida. (Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhak/Associated Press)
“I wanted to play with the guys from the very beginning,” Thompson said. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to play forward, let’s just challenge ourselves.’ I get into every hole, which I really like. I don’t get that opportunity very often when I’m playing, so I like to throw the ball from the tee and hit with medium to long irons.”
Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson will be at QBE Shootout 2022, but Greg Norman will not. Here is the format, field, money, other