December 08, 2016

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) Steve Stricker returned from a long layoff to team with Jerry Kelly to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

The Madison, Wisconsin, duo shot a 16-under 56 on Thursday in the scramble format for a one-stroke lead over Harris English and Matt Kuchar at Tiburon Golf Club.

The 49-year-old Stricker had not played since the Deutsche Bank Championship on Labor Day. He's teaming with the 50-year-old Kelly for the record eighth time. They won in 2009, and Kelly also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

Harris and Kuchar won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the last two years.

Charles Howell III & Rory Sabbatini were third at 59, and defending champions Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker were at 60 with Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner and Luke Donald-Russell Knox.

Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau were eighth after a 62. Thompson is the second woman to compete in the event, following Annika Sorenstam with Fred Couples in 2006.

The teams will play modified alternate shot Friday and close with better ball Saturday.

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