Golf: Americans Harris English and Matt Kuchar grab Franklin Templeton Shootout lead

American golfers Matt Kuchar (left) and Harris English.
American golfers Matt Kuchar (left) and Harris English. PHOTOS: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Americans Matt Kuchar and Harris English combined for a 14-under 58 in a scramble format on Thursday to seize a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the 27th annual Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida.

The three-day invitational event hosted by retired Australian star Greg Norman matches 12 pairs of golf's top male players in three different styles, with Friday featuring a modified alternate shot and Saturday's final round utilising a better-ball format.

Kuchar and English, the only pairing to have played the event together more than once, won the Shootout in 2013 and finished second last year.

Kuchar comes off a win in October at the Fiji International event on the Australasia PGA Tour while English has a best finish of second this year, losing a playoff at Torrey Pines.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who won a US Tour event last month in Mexico, and American Gary Woodland were one stroke adrift, sharing second with the US duo of Hunter Mahan and Billy Horschel.

Americans Daniel Berger and Charley Hoffman shared fourth on 60 with Colombia's Camilo Villegas and American Cameron Tringale. Last year, Tringale won the title alongside Australian Jason Day, who last week pulled out of defending the title.