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Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 5:22:00 AM
Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 4:33:28 PM
Matt Kuchar (left) and Harris English hold the Franklin Templeton Shootout trophy after finishing first on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Naples, Florida. - AP
(Reuters) - Americans Matt Kuchar and Harris English, playing together this week for the first time, cruised to a record seven-shot victory at the $3.1 million Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida on Sunday.
Four strokes ahead overnight after Saturday's better-ball round, the American duo fired a 14-under-par 58 in the scramble format to post a 34-under total of 182 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort's Tiburon Golf Club.
Kuchar and English covered the last 28 holes in a blistering 25-under to tie the 54-hole tournament record and set a new mark for the winning margin at the charity event hosted by Australian golfing great Greg Norman.
"Playing scramble is so much fun and playing with Matt, he's going to hit a lot of fairways," English, a double winner on the PGA Tour, told NBC Sports in a greenside interview.
"It's all about making birdies. We started off solid on the front nine, really all week, got it rolling towards the back nine and just killed it."
American world number seven Kuchar paid tribute to his partner's sizzling form on the greens on Sunday.
"I didn't putt much at all today, Harris was just filling it up," said Kuchar. "Boy that back nine was really good to us."
South African Retief Goosen and Swede Fredrik Jacobson carded a 61 to finish second, with Englishmen Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood a further shot back at 26 under, after a 59.
Defending champions Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair, who had soared into a three-way tie for the lead after Friday's opening modified alternate-shot format, ended up in fifth place at 23 under after signing off with a 60.
The PGA Tour-sanctioned event featured 12 two-man teams with a different playing format for each of the three rounds.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)
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