Tournament organizers for this weekend’s Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., will add extra security early in the week, and not because the field contains some of the PGA Tour’s biggest names in Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan.
One name, in particular, is causing a stir: Tim Tebow. The former Florida Gator and NFL quarterback played with J.B. Holmes on Tuesday and is paired alongside Billy Horschel, another former Gator, on Wednesday.
“Our security teams are beefed up, and we’re certainly prepared for an increase,” tournament director Rob Hartman told the Naples Daily News. “We’re ready and prepared to act accordingly. We think we’ll see a strong surge at the gate (Tuesday) and Wednesday.
“We’ve just been fortunate that one of the college football greats is able to join us. He’s obviously a tremendous person and he’s incredibly philanthropic. It’s great for him to give a couple of days of his time. It means a lot.”
Gator fans are expected to come out in large numbers to see the Horschel/Tebow combo play together, or probably just to catch a glimpse of the former Heisman winner.
Maybe the only person around not super excited for Tebow’s presence is PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Daniel Berger, a former Florida State Seminole.
“Florida State just came off a win against them,” Berger told the Naples Daily News. “I probably wouldn’t shove it in his face too much, but definitely good to have that on him.”
Tebow, who has spent time recently as a broadcaster for ESPN, also played alongside Fox’s Joe Buck Tuesday. Fox will televise the event this weekend. Buck, Greg Norman and other members of Fox’s crew made the station’s golf broadcasting debut at this event last year.
Good guy. Nice to all who want pics with him here in Florida. And can rip a golf ball. And Tim Tebow. Ha. Him.Not me pic.twitter.com/SXdBwOqZon
— Joe Buck (@Buck) December 8, 2015
How is Tebow’s game? A 2012 Forbes article listed his handicap index at 21.7. Have a look for yourself at his swing below: